Saturday, May 29, 2010
By: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
28 May 2010
With the early onset of the rainy season, the Philippine Navy is all set to deploy men and equipment to flood-prone areas in all parts of the country. The Navy has a pre-organized, pre-planned, and pre-equipped rescue teams integrated in all naval units to reach out to needy citizens when calamities and disasters strike.
Gaining from its experience during the onslaught of Typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” last year, the Navy has strengthened its disaster response operations in four areas: equipage, command and control, training, and coordination. During its 112th Anniversary celebration this month, the Navy presented to PGMA its newly-procured Disaster Response Operations (DRO) Equipment that speaks of the Navy’s readiness and preparedness when called for action as the Navy’s 112th Anniversary theme proudly proclaims: “Naval Dominance for 7,107 Philippine Islands”.
The DRO Equipment consist of the trailer, rubber boat (10-man capacity with 40 HP OBM), and other life-saving gear. Also included is an improvised rubber boat made of indigenous materials from plastic drums and metal. The boat which is virtually unsinkable can load more than 4 times compared to an ordinary rubber boat and costs P60,000.00, unlike an ordinary rubber boat that costs P600,000.00.
On 26 May 2010, a team from the Navy’s BRP Magat Salamat (PS 20) composed of an officer and 7 enlisted personnel was dispatched to Brgy Bulalo, Sultan Kudarat to assist in the evacuation of residents affected by floods in Eastern Mindanao. The team augmented the Army’s 1st IB that was dispatched to the area after continuous torrential rains had caused the Mindanao River Basin to swell and caused the flash floods. Though there was no actual rescue operation since the floodwater had subsided, the Navy team is on standby aboard BRP Magat Salamat (PS 20) which is moored in Polloc Wharf, Parang, Maguindanao.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Naval Forces Northern Luzon based in Poro Pt, La Union conducted on 19 May 2010 a Disaster Response Workshop to enhance the DRO capability of AFP units in the Northern Luzon region. Representatives from the PAG-ASA, Coast Guard, Office of Civil Defense, and PDCC Region-1 attended the one-day activity aimed to organize and enhance interoperability among disaster units involved in disaster response operations.
Being the citizen’s vital partner in peace, progress, and development, the Navy’s expanded role has encompassed search and rescue operations during calamities and disasters. The Navy has recognized its emerging role as disaster responder and agents of rehabilitation from calamities that frequent our country. For any emergency, the Navy will always be ready to respond, which gives impetus to the Navy to enhance and sustain its disaster response readiness program.
SIR, DISASTER RESPONSE UNITS, MANNED AND READY
Personnel and equipment prepare to launch in a ceremony during the Navy’s 112th Anniversary celebration on 11 May 2010. PGMA witnessed this preparedness during the anniversary rites at the Navy Headquarters that speaks of the Navy’s readiness and preparedness when called to action as the theme proudly proclaims: “Naval Dominance for 7,107 Philippine Islands”. The DRO Equipment consists of the trailer, rubber boat (10-man capacity with 40 HP OBM), and other life-saving gear. Also included in the inventory of DRO Equipment is an improvised rubber boat made of indigenous materials that can load more rescuers and costs less compared to an ordinary rubber boat.