THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Cordillera region assured logistical support to the Regional Inter Agency Task Force (RIATF) in relation to the effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid–19).

Brigadier General Henry Doyaoen, commanding officer of the 503rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, said as part of the response cluster of the RIATF, AFP units in the region will conduct distribution of goods to the provinces when needed.

“For our AFP units in region, we are also giving priority to our men by ensuring their protection against the virus for them to continue to perform their duties as support group for the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),” Doayen said.

On the movement of supplies, the AFP is tasked to provide logistics and security to DSWD to ensure the unhampered delivery of supplies in the region by coordinating with the Local government units aside from ferrying stranded individuals seeking the need to go back to their provinces in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) particularly during the quarantine period.

“We are hoping that it does not come to the point that the AFP will have to deploy its personnel to quell violence like looting or any other incidents to ensure peace and order. We are hopeful that once the distribution of family food packs would begin, the people in the community would be cooperative during this times,” the 503rd Commander stated.

Despite government’s concentration on the effects of the Covid-19 in the region, the AFP continues to address the insurgency situation in the Cordillera with the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Dayaoen added there are still NPA units operating in the region and the AFP is hoping they would not take advantage of the situation.