By: Elena L Aben
Manila Bulletin, Sunday, 30 May 2010
The Philippine Navy said on Saturday that
it is ready to deploy its personnel and
equipment in flood-prone areas nationwide
as the rainy season approaches.
The Navy’s disaster preparedness was put
to test last May 26 when flashfloods hit
10 villages in Sultan Kudarat, affecting
35,000 people and causing damage to
24 hectares of farmland and a wide span
of the farm-to-market road in the town.
Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman,
said that the Navy has pre-organized,
pre-planned, and pre-equipped rescue
teams integrated in all naval units to
reach out to needy citizens when calamities
and disasters occur.
“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,” said Arevalo.
At the 12th anniversary celebration earlier
this month, the Navy presented to
President Arroyo its newly procured
Disaster Response Operations (DRO) equipment,
which shows the Navy’s readiness and
preparedness when called for action.
The DRO equipment consist of the trailer,
rubber boat that has a 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 the Navy described as
unsinkable, can load more than four times
compared to an ordinary rubber boat and
costs P60,000 unlike an ordinary rubber boat
that costs P600,000.