By: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Monday, 05 October 2009
The relief efforts of the Philippine Navy to victims of typhoon “Ondoy” in Cainta, Rizal went in full swing since Saturday, 03 October 2009 after typhoon “Pepeng” did not make a landfall in Metro Manila and neighboring areas as expected.
In coordination with the local government of Cainta and private organizations, the Navy distributed throusands of packs of relief goods to residents who patiently waited infront of the Cainta Municipal Hall and also to areas that are still flooded, while clearing operations went underway for debris that littered the streets.
Even before the Navy established its Advanced Command Post at the Municipal Hall 9:30 PM of 02 October 2009, residents had gathered infront of the Hall waiting for their packs of goodies. Before daybreak, the crowd has swelled. Not even the rain which began to pour in the afternoon forced them to seek shelter as they snaked through lines and began to swarm around a team of Navy officers and personnel distributing relief goods. Another team from the Navy controlled the crowd onty too eager to get their share of goods and go home.
For three hours, the eager residents, even pregnant women and grade school kids endured the rains brought by “Pepeng,” together with the Navy teams who were also soaking wet under the rain, distributing a truckload of goods from ABS-CBN’s Sagip Kapamilya.
Meanwhile, the Marines’ Light Amphibious Riverine Craft (LARC) vehicle parked infront of the Hall, painted with the sharp teeth of a hungry predator with traces of blood oozing from the teeth drew a number of people. Kids assited by members of the Marines climbed atop the vehicle to get a feel of it. The LARC vehicle was later dispatched to flooded areas in Cainta to deliver relief goods.
As of press time, Navy teams of over 50 officers and enlisted personnel delivered over 7,000 packs of relief goods to typhoon victims in Cainta, Rizal. Navy teams also conducted clean-up operations and a feeding program with government and private agencies.
Relief operations in Cainta, Rizal are still ongoing. Aside from the Navy’s search and rescue efforts during typhoons, the Navy is also prepared to undertake relief and rehabilitation efforts to victims of natural calamities. These deeds according to Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez is a testament of the Navy’s commitment to uplift the lives of the Filipinos especially those who are in need.