BY: LT COL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Monday, 19 October 2009
The Philippine Navy has placed all its Disaster Response and Rescue (DRR) units in Northern and Southern Luzon areas on red alert status since 230PM last Saturday, 17 October 2009 in preparation for Typhoon “Ramil”.
Units from the Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NAVFORNOL) under COMMO JOSE LUIS ALANO, Naval Education and Training Command in (NETC) in Zambales under REAR ADMIRAL VICENTE AGDAMAG, and NAVAL FORCES SOUTHERN LUZON (NAVFORSOL) under COMMO JOEL BABAS have prepositioned their respective Disaster Response and Rescue Teams (DRRT) in key areas where “Ramil” is expected to hit Thursday, 22 October 2009.
Naval reservists will augment regular Navy personnel from the Fleet-Marine DRR Teams in Luzon. The assets set to be deployed for the conduct of search and rescue operations are an Islander plane, 18 rubber boats, 13 M35 trucks, 2 amphibious trucks, and 2 amphibian crafts. The Navy has also added 7 Dehavilland boats and 2 choppers in its inventory of DRR equipment.
A Dehavilland boat is more reliable than a rubber boat since it has an aluminum hull and can carry more individuals than an ordinary rubber boat. Unlike a rubber boat, a Dehavilland boat is not susceptible to punctures during the conduct of operations.
The Navy’s bid for the procurement of a multi-role vessel (MRV) to boost its disaster response and relief operations has found urgency with the recent onslaught of disastrous storms. One of the projects under the Navy modernization program, the addition of MRV in its inventory will not only enhance the Navy’s conduct of maritime and naval operations but also its humanitarian efforts especially during the time of natural calamities and disasters.
The MRV can load more personnel and equipment that can be deployed to areas during emergencies. This asset can also serve as a “government floating center” where representatives from various government agencies can deliver the much needed services to far-flung areas around the country.
It can be recalled that before “Pepeng” hit the country, Naval units in Metro Manila, Cavite, Northern Luzon, and Southern Luzon areas have prepositioned their respective DRRTs in key areas to respond to distress calls by the citizens and assist LGUs in their rescue and relief efforts.
Vice Amiral Ferdinand S Golez has instructed Navy DRRTs to intensify their preparations before undertaking their respective missions to help more individuals in need and prevent accidents in the conduct of their operations.