PRO 7 in need of equipment

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Thursday, August 7, 2014


A TOP official of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 yesterday said they lack equipment and tools in responding disasters, which cost them the life of a policeman last October.

Senior Supt. Edward Carranza, chief of the regional directorial staff, laid bare the problem during the auditing of their assets for their disaster preparation and relief capabilities.

“Based on my personal observation and inputs of the logistics officer, we lack the necessary equipment to address major disasters. We have experiences in the past that our men suffered death,” he told reporters.

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October fatality

Last Oct. 6, a policeman died during a rescue operation after floods swamped parts of Negros Oriental.

PO1 Rodelin Gonzaga got separated from a lifeline while attempting to rescue trapped residents in a coastal area in Barangay Villareal, Bayawan City.

He was found dead off the coast of Barangay Caranoche, Sta. Catalina the next day.

Gonzaga was one of 72 non-commissioned police officers who were pulled out from their anti-insurgency training to help in the rescue operations.

During the auditing held at the Camp Sergio Osmeña, the PRO 7 has a rubber boat, fire extinguishers and stretchers, among others.

Carranza said they need ropes, snaplings and hammers that are important in rescue operations, particularly during floods.

He said these equipment and tools are procured by the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame and their release depends on the Department of Budget and Management.

“We are totally dependent on the national police headquarters and the support of the different local chief executives,” Carranza said.

In terms of training, he said most of PRO 7 personnel have undergone disaster management courses that were funded by local government units.

Solution

To address the problem, Carranza said they are asking Camp Crame to procure additional equipment and tools that will cost millions of pesos.

“We need these considering that we have been struck by many disasters,” he added.

Last year, an earthquake hit Bohol and Cebu that left more than 200 dead and brought down historic churches in Bohol.

It also damaged the belfry of the Basilica del Sto. Niño in Cebu and forced authorities to condemn the Cebu City Medical Center and the Palace of Justice.

Super typhoon Yolanda, which followed less than a month later, killed more than 6,200 and wrecked nearly P40 billion worth of roads, municipal halls and other public infrastructure, as well as crops.

It also displaced some four million persons all over the Visayas.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 08, 2014.

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