Foreign militaries, int'l donors pledge post-Ruby response
MANILA, Philippines – Foreign militaries and international aid organizations pledged to help the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit).
The United States offered several aircraft for initial assessment and response, according to Major Emmanuel Garcia of the military's 7th Civil Relations Group, which assists the Office of the Civil Defense in linking with troops nationwide.
"The US Embassy offered 9 C130 transport aircraft, 3 P-3C Orion for air assessment and monitoring, medical and relief workers, and other support, if needed," Garcia said.
The US, a treaty ally of the Philippines, was among the first responders in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November 2013, the world's strongest recorded typhoon to make landfall. (READ: VFA allowed US troops to rush to aid of Yolanda victims – US)
Garcia said other foreign armed forces also offered help and are already coordinating with the Multinational Coordinating Council (MNCC).
"We are grateful for the offer and outpouring of help from the US and other countries and individuals," Garcia said.
Singapore offered to help, too. Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Yeng Kit made a phone call to Philippine Undersecretary for Defense Honorio Azcueta to assure him of assistance, according to a report of Singapore-based Channel News Asia.
"A needs assessment team of up to 10 officers is ready to be deployed from Singapore to the Philippines to provide a comprehensive assessment of the situation in the affected areas and enhance information-sharing. This will in turn help facilitate decision-making by militaries, for instance, by showing them areas most in need of assistance," the report read.
The MNCC was established in 2013 to coordinate the assistance offered by various foreign militaries in the aftermath of Yolanda. Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr announced earlier the re-activation of the MNCC.
International donor organizations, including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), also met with Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman on Friday to discuss how they would coordinate in the aftermath of Typhoon Ruby.
“We are standing by and fully prepared to assist the Government in the response, should they require it,” said UN resident and humanitarian coordinator Terence Jones.
UNOCHA committed to assist the Philippine government in terms fo stocks of food, medical supplies, and non-food items.
"Shelter and protection issues concerning women and children will be a priority in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon," UNOCHA added. – Rappler.com