By: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Saturday, 03 October 2009
Navy Disaster Response and Rescue Teams (DRRTs), anticipating worst case situation with “Pepeng” making a landfall in Northern Luzon, have been prepositioned in different areas needing immediate response in northern and southern Luzon including Metro Manila.
As of yesterday, 02 October 2009, Naval Forces Northern Luzon Commander Commo Jose Luis Alano has dispatched one DRRT prepositioned in Cagayan; two in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; one in Pangasinan; and two in Zambales. In Metro Manila, twelve DRRTs composed of 21 officers and 180 enlisted personnel established an Advanced Command Post in Minicipal Hall, Cainta, Rizal together with rescue teams from the Air Force and Army.
Monitoring and hearing PAG-ASA forecast on typhoon “Pepeng” that it will not hit Metro Manila, the Navy’s rescue teams in Metro Manila immediately shifted to relief operations for the victims of typhoon “Ondoy.”
As of press time, Captain Miguel Jose Rodriguez, Commander, Fleet-Marine Ready Force, and over-all in-charge of the Navy’s rescue teams led some 20 personnel of the Navy, together with Cainta Mayor Ramon Ilagan and Vice Mayor Arturo Sicat in distributing 4,500 packs of relief goods. The goods benefited flood-stricken families in the Greenwoods, Pag-ibig, and Mercedes Villages, and Sitio Arinda, all of Brgy San Juan, Cainta. Relief operations are ongoing in the area with ABS-CBN’s “Sagip Kapamilya.”
Meanwhile, one DRRT was dispatched to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte after residents alarmed the authorities of a possible landslide in the area. At 7:30 PM yesterday, 02 October 2009, another DRRT proceeded to the Parongking River, Brgy, Taliban, Calasiao, Pangasinan after receiving reports that a 13-yr old boy is missing and might have drowned in the river. Rescue operations are ongoing.
Commo Alano has directed the deployment of DRRTs to the following areas: Laoag, Ilocos Norte; Naval Base Camilo Osias, san Vicente, Cagayan; Aparri, Cagayan; Cagayan Colleges Tuguegarao, Cagayan; Cabanatuan Heroes College, Balanga, Bataan; Northern Philippines College for Maritime Science and Technology, San Fernando City, La Union; and Naval Detachment Bonuan. Around 1,000 naval reservists in said areas have been alerted to assist Navy personnel during the conduct of rescue operations.
Also on high alert status are the two DRRTs of Naval Forces Southern Luzon composed of the following: 2 medical teams, 4 NAVSOU and 3 Reservist DRRT with a total of 8 officers and 39 enlisted personnel. The teams have 3 M35 trucks (6x6), 6 rubber boats with OBM, and 2 rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB).
Around 9:30 PM yesterday, 02 October 2009, the Navy together with composite elements from the PNP and other AFP units evacuated a total of 86 individuals from the San Pedro Relocation Center National High School to the Landayan Evacuation Center, San Pedro, Laguna. The evacuees included a pregnant woman, 68 children, and 17 adults. Fifteen sacks of relief goods were distributed to the evacuees around 10:30 PM.
Navy rescue teams have doubled up their preparation for typhoon “Pepeng.” Gaining lessons from “Ondoy’s” onslaught in Metro Manila and some areas in Luzon last week, Navy Chief Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez has directed unit commanders to preposition their rescue teams to areas where “Pepeng” is expected to hit.