CLASSES IN all levels, both public and private schools, in Batangas province will remain suspended while the alert level 4 for Taal Volcano is in place, the governor announced Sunday. In a memorandum to all schools, a copy of which was posted on the provincial government’s Facebook page, Gov. Hermilando I. Mandanas said the decision is based on the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) and “after careful and thorough consideration of the present situation after the Taal Volcano eruption.” Mr. Mandanas also sits as chair of the PDRRMC. An alert level 4, which means a “hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days,” has been in effect since the evening of January 12, the day Taal Volcano started spewing ash. In its Jan. 19 advisory, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reiterated that “total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and the high-risk areas” within the 14-kilometer radius from the main crater must be implemented. As of Sunday, 22,472 families composed of over 96,000 individuals in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite and Laguna have been affected by the volcanic activity, according to the national disaster management council. Of the total, 16,174 families are housed in 300 evacuation centers.