SENATE President Vicente C. Sotto III on Monday asked the chamber to draw up a long-term plan to rehabilitate Batangas province after Taal Volcano’s eruption destroyed homes and buried shops in ashfall.

“We have to start pooling our ideas to rehabilitate Batangas,” he said in a statement. “We need permanent solutions to resolve post-disaster concerns and help Batangueños recover.”

Damage on roads has reached P137.16 million, the Public Works department said in a separate statement yesterday.

Mr. Sotto said he was particularly concerned about housing, infrastructure and the livelihood of people around one of the world’s smallest and deadliest volcanoes.

Taal Volcano’s eruption starting on Jan. 12 forced thousands of people to flee and stay at evacuation centers for days. Ashfall reached cities around the capital, forcing financial markets to suspend trading and the Manila airport to close.

Its alert level has since been lowered to No. 3, meaning there is little chance of an explosive eruption. Thousands of residents have since returned to their homes, except people on Volcano Island.

Mr. Sotto said the long-term plan should include temporary and permanent housing for affected families, road and building repairs, and offering livelihood to affected families.

Senator Francis N. Tolentino filed a resolution asking the chamber to create a sustainable resettlement and rehabilitation program for Taal.

The lawmaker, a former mayor of nearby Tagaytay City, wants to summon housing authorities and other agency officials to know how to help residents.

He said almost a million people had been affected by Taal Volcano’s eruption, many of them losing their homes. He added that 200,000 residents remained at evacuation centers in Batangas and Cavite provinces, citing data from the local disaster agency.

Meanwhile, Antique Rep. Loren B. Legarda said there are enough funds for disaster relief, including money from last year’s national budget and funds from several agencies for this year.

The House of Representatives assured that the funds for disaster relief will not run out, amid the continuing efforts for the rehabilitation of communities affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

“It’s not true that the funds will run out because there are continuing funds from 2019 that can be used until December,” she said via Facebook Live.

A total of P16 billion was allotted to the local disaster agency this year, while some agencies have built-in quick-response funds or pre-disaster funds that can be used, Ms. Legarda said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan, Genshen L. Espedido and A. L. Balinbin