Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On Navy Personnel Infected with Influenza A(H1N1) Virus:

1.) Earlier reports that there were two (2) Philippine Navy personnel infected with A(H1N1) virus is inaccurate. There were actually seven (7). We have to clarify this to prevent a misimpression, should there be a follow-up report, that there was a sharp increase from two to seven yesterday.

2.) This number came from 23 Navy officer candidates and enlisted personnel (in one of our training institutions) that manifested flu-like symptoms, had throats swabbed and results submitted.

3.) From this number, 13 personnel are in hospital isolation; five are isolated in a guesthouse; five are allowed to go on supervised home quarantine because they were either tested negative or have already been treated. They could have contracted illness from their exposure with people they get acquainted with during their weekend vacations from their training.

4.) The Philippine Navy decided to manage the information because we believe that pro-action, immediate containment and prevention of undue alarm and panic is essential in controlling the spread of the dreaded disease.

5.) Before news came out, Navy leadership through Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez, Flag Officer-in-Command, AFP, caused the conduct of troop information and education in every opportunity – lectures, informal talks, circulation of literatures and posting of information at the Navy website. Had it not been for these constructive moves between the Navy Chief Nurse, Col Joselito AvanceƱa and local Department of Health officials, the number could have been more as we await test results to come. It bears stressing through that all patients are currently recuperating.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Navy Assists Balangay Team In Travelling The World

In cooperation with the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Mt Everest Expedition team formally launches the Kaya ng Pinoy Foundation project dubbed as “The Voyage of the Balangay”. This event, held at the CCP Grounds on June 27, 2009, officially marks the start of the maiden voyage of the modern Balangay as it circumnavigates the globe. Former DOTC USEC Art Valdez leads the opening ceremonies of this event.

This voyage retraces the migration of our ancestors from mainland Asia to the Philippines using the native Balangay. Furthermore, the Balangay’s voyage reactivates the Filipino’s seafaring nature and rouses the people’s minds of rich heritage as a maritime nation. Aside from these goals, the Balangay and its crew will also visit 67 ports in the country to conduct coastal clean-ups, historical presentations, interact with local communities to foster unity and promote tourism around the country.

The crew, comprised of Philippine Mount Everest Team members Leo Oracion, Edwin Emata, Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon, Janet Belarmino-Sardena, Dr. Ted Esguerra, Fred Jamili and Dr. Voltaire Velasco, is joined by two enlisted personnel of the Naval Special Operations Group joins the crew of the Balangay. Aside from providing crew members, the Navy also transported 220 different kinds and sizes of lumber that was used in the construction of the Balangay.

The Balangay sets sail within Philippine waters this year on a tentative seven-leg journey that will take it to various ports around the world through celestial navigation methods. These methods include the use of heavenly bodies such as the sun, stars, cloud formations, wind, birds and wave patterns. Phase 1 of the journey will cover 2,108 nautical miles or 3,908 km. The projected timetable of the expedition will cover the Southeast Asian region by 2010, Micronesia and Madagascar by 2011, and navigate across the Pacific toward the Atlantic all the way around the world by 2012, and return to the Philippines in 2013.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Navy Rescues Indon Tugboat

Philippine Navy Ship BRP Rizal (PS-74) rescued an Indonesian tugboat 3.2 nautical miles northeast off Silaqui Island, Bolinao, Pangasinan Friday, 19 June 2009. PS-74 that participated in the naval exercise MALPHI-LAUT ’09 between the Philippine and Malaysian navies in La Union, was immediately dispatched around 12:50 pm by Task Group 10.2 to conduct search and rescue operations after receiving a distress signal from the tugboat.

Assisting PS-74 was a team of Naval Special Operations Unit (NAVSOU) and Navy Aircraft PNI-312 earlier dispatched to conduct aerial search. PS-74 arrived in the vicinity at 4:00 in the afternoon and rescued the tugboat after it was stranded in the island due to heavy weather and poor visibility because of typhoon “Limfa”. PS-74 then escorted said tugboat to San Fernando City, La Union.

The tugboat of Indonesian registry identified as M/T Benoa had 10 crew on board and a load of coal. It was on its way to Sual, Pangasinan when her barge parted off due to rough seas. The tugboat is presently moored at Holcim Pier, San Fernando City. Upon arrival to port, personnel from the DOH conducted medical tests to the crew of M/T Benoa for the mandatory A(H1N1) check. Local government officials also received the crew of the tugboat for documentation.

Capt Nodolfo V Tejada, Deputy Commander of the Naval Forces Northern Luzon heads Task Group 10.2 while Lt Oliver Reforba is skipper of PS-74. Capt Mordiono, the skipper of the tugboat paid a courtesy call to the commanding officer of PS-74 to express his heartfelt gratitude. The captain intends to look for and recover the barrage when weather improves.

Through the years, the Philippine Navy has expanded its role to include the conduct of rescue and relief operations, both in land and in sea and during the calamities to suit to the demands of a contemporary Navy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

RP, Malaysia Launch MALPHI-LAUT '09

The Philippine Navy, through the Naval Forces Northern Luzon, holds a Maritime Training Activity (MTA) with the Royal Malaysian Navy in what is dubbed as the MALPHI-LAUT 09 on June 15 to 23.This Maritime Training Activity greatly enhances interoperability between the two navies as they conduct various exercises ashore and afloat in San Fernando, La Union, Subic, Zambales and the Luzon Sea.

The first phase of this MTA on 15 – 17 June, comprises the arrival of RMN ships at Headquarters Naval Forces Northern Luzon in San Fernando, La Union and the opening of the MALPHI Cup and Sports competition. Afterwards, the second phase on 18 – 21 June, involves the training of the two navies in naval surface firing, basic tactical evolutions, seamanship and vessel boarding among other exercises. Lastly, MALPHI-LAUT concludes at Subic, Zambales on 22 – 23 June 2009 with its third phase that involves post training activities for both parties.

In addition to these exercises with the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Philippine Navy also tests its newly-acquired vessel tracking system and an upgraded Naval Air Group Islander with Radar and Global Positioning System capabilities. This new technology help boost the capability of the Philippine Navy as a vital partner of our maritime nation in attaining lasting peace, progress and development.

The MALPHI-LAUT 09 is an annual bilateral exercise alternately hosted by the Philippine Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy that involves training in both navigations and operations. These exercises improve mutual cooperation between the two navies and develop combined operation doctrines, practices and naval tactics to complement each other’s operational capabilities at sea. Furthermore, the MALPHI-LAUT 09 also provides a basis for future working relationships between the Philippine Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Navy’S 30th Celebrates 30th With 30

For a married couple, reaching 30 years of marriage is certainly no walk in the park. Achieving this amazing feat entails a huge amount of patience, understanding and love on both parties for the marriage not to fail. Sadly, not many married couples today can readily boast of this achievement. But when it comes to Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez, Flag Officer-in-Command, Philippine Navy and his better half, Shirley, reaching 30 years of marriage means so much more than saying “I Do”.

The Navy’s 30th head honcho recently celebrated 30 blissful years of marriage with his wife in a matrimonial ceremony meant for 30 couples. Along with the renewal of matrimonial vows of the Navy’s first couple, 29 Fleet-Marine officers, enlisted personnel and their respective would-be spouses were wedded in a mass military wedding. This momentous event is the first of its kind and adds meaning and substance to the celebration of FOIC’s 30th wedding anniversary. Among the guests who made this event memorable were Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Hon Gilberto C Teodoro Jr., Secretary of Defense, Lt Gen Victor S Ibrado, Chief of Staff, AFP and Congressman Roilo S Golez of ParaƱaque along with several members of PMA Class ’76.

To make his 30th wedding anniversary more meaningful, Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez, Flag Officer-in-Command, Philippine Navy shouldered the expenses of this event. This gave the 29Fleet-Marine enlisted personnel a chance to wed their would-be spouses (or the one they were living with without marriage ceremony) freely. Furthermore, the Philippine Navy also provided sponsors to these newly-weds to ensure that their union is legal under the eyes of God and of the law.

After the mass military wedding, the reception was held at the Philippine Navy Officer’s Club, Bonifacio Naval Station, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. The newly-wed Fleet-Marine couples, along with VADM Golez and his better half, Shirley, celebrated the night away reminiscent of their 30 memorable years of marriage.