I will pause from the world of sports for the time being to write about some thoughts on the ongoing Taal volcano activity in the Batangas area.

To give our readers a background of yours truly’s career, I primarily am a call center leader in the very first Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company in the Nuvali area in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Our location is roughly 35 kilometers away from Tagaytay, site of the scenic Taal Lake.

I would like to pause and give our BPO employees a well-deserved salute for their good work and dedication. I have witnessed staff who continued to report amid the ash fall and tremors we experienced during the first two days of Taal’s activities. As a gesture of appreciation, we did provide food subsidy and a special travel allocation and schedule to make matters easier for those able to work. Our site is a welcome second home to our employees.

As of this writing, Alert Level 4 is still raised and barangays within the 14-kilometer radius of the volcano are being evacuated due to the dangers of a possible hazardous eruption.

As a leader in this industry, it is the safety and security of our employees that is tops on our list. This is yours truly’s 3rd emergency situation. The first one was in 2009, the infamous Typhoon Ondoy when flash floods impacted our facilities, and the other one was a few months after that, Typhoon Basyang in 2010.

Being in tune with news and social media is key especially with a rare event like what’s happening with Taal. Never have I monitored news about an emergency incident that went beyond a few hours. This thing about Taal may last days or even weeks, hopefully, we don’t have to wait months for the alert level to go down.

We do request that prayers go to those living within the “strike zone” of Taal and while you’re at it, do say a prayer for the working class who are outside the 14km radius but could still feel the impact of what’s happening in Batangas.

I also request our countrymen to refrain from any misleading information that may not help our cause today. I am appealing that we do not associate this eruption to any other of its kind, its coincidental occurrence, and exaggerating what already is a disastrous situation in the proximity of Taal.

The last thing we want to happen is to aggravate matters by causing panic in an area that is already being evacuated like the barangays surrounding the Taal volcano.

The rule of thumb I suggest we all do is this … if it is not going to help the situation, please refrain from posting. I know that statement is broad scope but we do have experts on the field at the PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) and the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) that we can go to for accurate and reliable information and advisories.

We thank our readers for your support.

(The writer is a senior leader in the Business Process Outsourcing industry managing Philippine countryside operations)

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