A week after Philippines’ Taal Volcano became active and spewed ashfall in several regions, lawmakers have finally allowed businesses in some affected areas, particularly in Tagaytay City, to reopen businesses.
Media reports as of January 20 said that a total of 59 tourism and non-tourism establishments in Tagaytay have resumed operations. These include restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, shopping malls and the city’s amusement park.
Tagaytay, although located in the province of Cavite, sits on a ridge above Taal allowing it to attract thousands of tourists for its mild climate and clear view of the active volcano.
Most businesses were given green light to reopen after securing permits and safety advice from local and national agencies handling the natural disaster.
However, some still struggle to wash away the mud from their establishments due to the limited water supply.
A restaurant owner who was interviewed by ABS-CBN said she has spent around P40,000 to avail 24 truckloads of water for the cleanup of her establishment.
Clyde Yalong, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Chief, said that the electricity in Tagaytay’s main pumping station still remains down but he reassured the restoration of power and water supply this week.
The City Government of Tagaytay also scheduled reopening of the popular holiday town south of Manila on January 24 in time for the Chinese New Year.
Despite the fact that Tagaytay remains within the 14-kilometer danger zone from Taal Volcano, the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) insisted that the tourist city is now safe and does not require evacuation due to its existing elevation.