PNP taps cops for disaster response as floods hit cities

MANILA, Philippines – Responding to floods triggered by heavy rain from the southwest monsoon, the Philippine National Police (PNP) called on cops to help out in response and rescue efforts.

"The Philippine National Police has activated its disaster response units to augment local PNP units as [the] southwest monsoon or habagat causes torrential rain and flash floods in Metro Manila, and other areas and provinces," the PNP announced in a statement on Tuesday, July 17.

Its disaster response units, the PNP said, consist of personnel from the elite Special Action Force, the Maritime Group, the Highway Patrol Group, the Police Community Relations Group, and the Regional Public Safety Battalions.

They have been instructed to "coordinate closely" with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and local government units (LGUs) in case a situation calls for forced evacuation.

Forced evacuations are implemented by LGUs in high-risk areas prone to floods and landslides.

Cops are also expected to join rescue operations in case residents find themselves trapped in rising floodwaters.

"This is one of those seasonal situations when the PNP is called upon to perform public safety operations to save lives," PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said in the statement.

Rain from the southwest monsoon hit the country while Henry, then just a tropical depression and now a tropical storm, affected Northern Luzon. Henry already left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday morning.

PAGASA is also monitoring a low pressure area (LPA) located 915 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan. It could develop into a tropical depression within the next 36 hours, and if it does, would be locally named Inday. –


Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.