ALBAY, Philippines – The provincial government of Albay and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol sent off on Thursday evening, October 22, a 100-man humanitarian team to Nueva Ecija province and Casiguran town in Aurora, areas devastated by Typhoon Lando (Koppu).
Albay Governor Joey Salceda said this was to reciprocate the assistance that other local governments extended to the province when the Bicol region was battered by Typhoon Reming in 2006.
“Our province has been spared [this time] and it is our duty to give back,” he said.
The mission from Bicol is composed of medics, water and sanitation personnel, engineers, and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who have expertise in disaster humanitarian assistance.
They have brought a water filtration machine with a capacity of 33,000 liters per hour to provide clean drinking water to families displaced by the typhoon. They will also provide emergency pre-hospital care and psycho-social care.
The provincial government of Albay will also give P250,000 each to the town of Casiguran in Aurora and the province of Nueva Ecija.
Cedric Daep, chief of Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), said the Team Albay-OCD Bicol will be in the field for 10 days.
Salceda, whose province has gained national and international recognition for its disaster response program, formed Team Albay, which has been working closely with the OCD.
“Typhoon Lando devastated communities in Aurora in a way you cannot imagine,” Doracie Zoleta Nantes, president of the Casiguran State University said in a letter to Apsemo chief Daep.
“I will set up a mechanism by which you can extend some assistance in which you can be assured that they will go directly to the affected families,” the university head said.
Recalling the province’s experience during Typhoon Reming 8 years ago, Salceda said: “We were not forsaken by the national government in moments that we were in need. Our province has been blessed from strength to strength and we must pay it forward to our hapless brothers affected by natural disaster.”
This is the 14th mission sent by Albay and the OCD to help communities in other provinces hit by typhoons and other disasters.
Since the creation of Team Albay-OCD Bicol, it has responded to various major calamities that hit in the country, among them in the aftermath of typhoons Frank in Iloilo (2008), Ondoy in Metro Manila and other nearby provinces (2009), Sendong (2011) in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City, Pablo (2012) in Davao Oriental, the earthquake in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, cholera outbreak Catanduanes due to cholera outbreak, earthquake in Bohol (2013), and Yolanda in Tacloban and Samar (2013). – Rappler.com
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