Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Navy steps up relief operations

By iris Gonzales
The Philippine Star, Monday, 25 October 2010

Meanwhile, the military has created a task force that will conduct relief and rehabilitation efforts in Isabela.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said the task force, to be led by Commodore Edgar Abogado, consists of engineering and rescue teams backed by various military assets.

He said the creation of the task force was in response to the appeal of local officials whose areas were practically flattened due to the typhoon.

“This is our effort to help our needy fellow Filipinos in that devastated area. The Philippine Navy will serve as link between our people and those who want to help them,” Arevalo said in a statement.

The task force will proceed to Isabela via logistics support vessel BRP Dagupan City, which left the Navy headquarters in Manila yesterday noon.

Included in the contingent are four naval combat engineering teams from the Naval Construction Brigade.

Arevalo said a 60-man rescue team under the Naval Forces Northern Luzon has been transformed to recovery, relief and rehabilitation teams.

Other Navy assets to be used for the relief operations are the BRP Alfredo Peckson, an aircraft, and three M35 trucks.

“A communications van that will serve as hub will also be included to link the different military units in the area since the communications was down,” Arevalo said.

He said the task force is also coordinating with other state agencies and private institutions to assist the typhoon victims.

“We are calling all benevolent institutions to help us in this humanitarian operation. Interested parties may send their relief goods through the Philippine Navy for our brothers in Isabela,” Arevalo said.

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