PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday ordered the relocation of police officers affected by the Taal Volcano eruption to safer off-base PNP housing projects in Calabarzon region.
A total of 557 policemen were affected by the eruption two weeks ago which forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents living near the seven-kilometer danger zone.
However, many of them were allowed to return to their homes on Sunday as the volcano showed signs of weakening.
“The Philippine National Police joins the people of Calabarzon, particularly those from the provinces of Batangas and Cavite, in their homecoming after being momentarily displaced for several days by an act of nature,” Gamboa said in a press statement.
“Even as some areas within the seven-kilometer danger zone around Taal volcano remain under lockdown, a sizable contingent of PNP troops remain on the ground to assist local governments in facilitating the orderly return of residents into evacuated communities,” he added.
According to the PNP chief, the police force will make available its personnel and resources for the massive clean-up effort that will welcome residents as they return to their homes to rebuild their lives.
“I must congratulate the people of Calabarzon for their cooperation, patience and civic spirit that allowed them to hurdle this challenge with zero casualty. The PNP stood shoulder to shoulder with our distressed countrymen during those trying times and we will remain by their side on their road to complete recovery from this setback,” he said.
“Because several of our own police personnel were themselves victims of this tragedy, the PNP morale and welfare policy ensures that appropriate assistance is extended to them.