By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., on Saturday said he will push for the crafting of a long-term plan not only to protect local communities living under the constant threat of Taal volcano’s eruption, but also to guarantee the immediate reconstruction and economic recovery of areas affected or destroy by its explosions.
Marcos, who is the standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, (PFP) standard-bearer, made the statement during his meeting with local officials and supporters in Batangas who organized a series of activities there.
When asked by the media about his opinion on how the government can help Batangueños prepare should the Taal Volcano show signs of seismic activity or eruption, “BBM” said that the government must produce a long-term action plan to avoid devastation in the province.
“Let’s keep a close eye on the activity of the volcano. And while we wait, let’s plan,” Marcos said in an interview over a local radio station.
He also said he draws inspiration from the plans and preparations made for the province of Leyte following the devastation brought by Yolanda in 2013. Yolanda was the strongest typhoon to hit the country and left more than 6,000 residents dead.
“I just came from the Yolanda celebration; I saw that they have already prepared for the next one in case there is another typhoon. Maybe the designs of the house, maybe it’s time for us to think about how to mitigate its impact and in case it explodes again will not be destroyed, even if we take them to the evacuation center,” Marcos explained.
Marcos added that a long-term solution is needed, such as strengthening the structures of the houses and other properties, particularly those nearby the volcano, to mitigate the effect of the devastation.
That’s really what it should be (long-term solution) because the volcano will erupt and erupt again. The volcano will always be there,” Marcos stressed.
Marcos also graced the Unifying BBM cup, a practical shooting event at a firing range in Lipa city. He also met with mayors and officials of Batangas and Quezon provinces.
He presided over the mass oath-taking of new PFP members and candidates. After which, he attended the caravan organized by his supporters. All of Marcos’ activities were well-attended, and hundreds of Batangueños lined the street to welcome him.
“The truth is I was surprised because I didn’t expect so many people to meet me. They are very organized. It is heartening to see that our supporters are there to express their support and show confidence in our message and advocacy,” Marcos said.
Marcos also distributed 1,400 pairs of slippers, 20 boxes of coffee, 20 boxes of corned beef, and 20 boxes of meatloaf for the inmates of the Batangas Provincial Jail.
Marcos is considered by many as a unifying leader who will bring progress and stability to the country. His humble demeanor despite rabid attacks by his critics had also endeared him to Filipinos.
Recent Presidential preference surveys showed Marcos as the ‘best bet’ of the people along with Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte.
“My goal for our country is that we unite, we work together. Because of all the crises faced by the Philippines, we survived because we worked together, we loved each other and we were united,” Marcos added.