Passport printing plant in Batangas on ‘short’ preventive shutdown due to Taal ashfall

Christia Marie Ramos

January 15, 2020 12:04am

MANILA, Philippines --- A passport printing plant in the province of calamity-stricken Batangas was put under preventive shutdown for "a couple of hours" due to ashfall triggered by the eruption of Taal Volcano, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

Citing information from the DFA Office of Consular Affairs, Foreign Affairs Secretary Eduardo Meñez told that passport production was placed under a "short preventive shutdown and maintenance" on Monday "due to the effects of ashfall from Taal Volcano."

"The passport system and production [are] now back to normal," Meñez added.

He noted that while the "printing plant is a secure facility (and) not near Taal" it was also affected by ashfall.

"The pre-emptive shutdown was completed the same day," he added.

The province of Batangas was earlier placed under state of calamity following the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano, which prompted thousands to flee their homes.

Taal Volcano is currently on Alert Level 4 which means that "hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days," according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).