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Para business as usual! Bambol Tolentino wanted Phivolcs to mark Tagaytay safe from Taal Volcano’s threats

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Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino used his connections to pressure the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to declare Tagaytay City as safe from Taal Volcano’s threats, Politiko has learned.

Politiko’s source said Tolentino sent word to Phivolcs director Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr. about his wish for Tagaytay City to be excluded from areas that may be affected by Taal Volcano’s lava flow.

Tolentino, said the source, wanted commercial establishments in Tagaytay to resume operations despite the threat of Taal Volcano’s hazardous eruption. He believed a declaration from Phivolcs that the city was safe would boost businessmen’s morale and encourage tourists to visit the city once again.

Tagaytay is considered the Tolentino’s bailiwick. The city’s mayor is the lawmaker’s wife, Agnes.

Perhaps caving in to pressure from Tolentino, Solidum said this week that Tagaytay City is safe from Taal Volcano’s lava flow because of its high elevation.

The local government has since given businesses the go signal to reopen. Government data shows there are around 285 restaurants, 64 road-side eateries, and 56 hotels in Tagaytay City.

While Tolentino prevailed over Solidum, Politiko learned not everyone at Phivolcs was happy with his decision. Among those who opposed the director’s statement declaring Tagaytay City as safe from Taal Volcano’s hazards was Mariton Bornas, head of the agency’s Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division.

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