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“House ‘rest”: Mayon forces 2,000 farmers to remain idle in homes

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No thanks to the eruption of Mayon Volcano, some 2,000 farmers in Daraga town in Albay are forced to remain idle in their homes.

The farmers said they had to stay inside their homes as their farms are within the six-ilometer permanent danger zone around Mayon.

“We are under house rest,” quipped Arsenio Inocencio, 81, of Barangay Miisi in Daraga (http://bicoltoday.com/2018/01/28/2000-daraga-farmers-idle-inside-homes-no-income-as-mayon-rages/).

But the farmers do not enjoy their forced vacation, as they could not derive income from their farms.

“Ang hirap dito sa kalagayan namin, kain-tulog lang, parang naghihintay sa wala,” said Alberto Sevilla, 66, a farmer from Barangay Miisi.

Many farmers joined Barangay Miisi councilor Ely Malate in watching young boys warming up for basketball at the court of Gabawan Elementary School.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology had decreed no activity around the six-kilometer PDZ around Mayon since it erupted earlier this month.

As a result, the residents were relocated to Barangay Salvacion. The farmers go back and forth to their farms.

Barangay Miisi is a source of sambalas, a bushy small pepper plant used for chili.

For his part, Councilor Malate said they have become used to the situation when Mayon erupts.

He said they would move for safety and leave behind farm animals like carabaos, cows, pigs, dogs and chickens.