MANILA

AFP shifts to massive relief distributions, rehab operations

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has mobilized all its sea, air and land asset, as it shifts to the conduct of massive relief distributions and rehabilitation operations in areas affected by the series of weather disturbances that hit the country recently.

AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said AFP Chief-of-Staff Gilbert Gapay made the order for the immediate delivery of relief goods, construction materials and heavy engineering equipment in the storm-devastated areas.

Among the areas badly hit by Typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses were Bicol Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Cordillera Administrative Region and National Capital Region (NCR).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, led the send-off ceremony of BRP Tarlac, which will sail to do relief operations in Catanduanes province.

A Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopter also transported a total of

1,587 pounds of assorted relief goods in Cagayan province.

PAF has also assisted in a medical emergency of a dialysis patient in Cagayan.

The AFP has vowed to provide support in transporting food and needed supplies to the affected population “at anytime and anywhere.”

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), over 500,000 families or two million individuals have been affected following the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, which caused massive flooding in several areas, especially in Cagayan, Calabarzon, Central Luzon and NCR.

Many of the affected individuals were displaced due to the flooding incident. In Cagayan, communities experienced neck-deep floodwater a day after the onslaught of Ulysses, after the Magat dam released water.

As of Monday, November 16, the AFP has rescued a total of 265,339 individuals in which 1,078 were from Northern Luzon, including Cagayan province, 263,444 in Southern Luzon and 817 in the NCR.

Among them were those who sought temporary refuge on their roofs following the heavy flooding particularly in Cagayan and Marikina.

The AFP is leading the cluster of the NDRRMC. Among its members are the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Department of Health–Health Emergency Management Staff, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Office of Civil Defense and Philippine Red Cross.

“Our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines have switched their firearms with ropes, life rings, and life jackets to respond to the cries for help during heavy and widespread flooding that affected our people. The AFP leads the SRR cluster and continues to work with other government agencies to save more lives amidst the challenges brought by natural calamities and a global pandemic,” Gapay said. (SunStar Philippines)


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