MANILA, Philippines - Stormy days and floods can be life-threatening for Filipinos.
For a group of dedicated rescuers, it’s a time to save lives.
David Lozada reports.
Eugene Boco leads his team in search and rescue operations in Cavite.
They go house to house, helping evacuate residents near the river bank.
They are not members of the military or any government institution.
They are members of the Tagasagip Buhay Foundation, a volunteer group for disaster response.
A former disaster officer in Mindanao, Eugene says saving lives is his passion.
Common na sa kahit sino na sabihing masarap makatulong. Pero wala tayong magawa. Iyon na talaga siguro yung call natin. Mostly likely po, calling po talaga iyon natin. (It is common for anyone to say that it feels good to help. But that’s really how it feels. I think this is my calling. )
Every time there’s a disaster, Eugene and his team run to affected areas.
This time they’re helping the local government of Rosario, Cavite.
Typhoon Maring put Cavite in a state of calamity. Here in Rosario, 300 families have been evacuated from 8 barangays.
Philippine Army Col. Medardo Clarito says the 8 barangays were hard-hit.
But the worst may not be over.
COL. MEDARDO CLARITO
Kasi baka bigla na naman bumaha lalo na ngayon papunta nang high tide. Nag-assist tayo, nagtulong tayo sa pag-conduct ng forced evacuation lalo na sa mga bata, matatanda at sa mga babae. (It might flood again since high tides are already coming. We conducted forced evacuation especially for children, old people and women.)
Clarito commends Eugene and his group of volunteers.
He says they embody the Filipino spirit.
COL. MEDARDO CLARITO
Iyan ang isang maganda ng katangian nating mga Pilipino na pagdating sa mga ganitong kalamidad, kahit saan ka man galing, ano ka man, sama sama tayo na nagtutulong sa mga nangangailangan. (That’s one good characteristic among Filipinos. When calamities strike, we all come there are no exceptions. We all come together to help those in need.)
Eugene and his team say as long as the calamities happen they will be there.
Yung mga tao, mga individual, dapat maging aware tayo. Huwag lang natin i-asa sa government yung responsibilidad ng pagiging safety and resilient natin sa community at sa bawat sarili natin. (The people should be aware. We should not solely rely on the government for our safety and resilience.)
For Eugene and his crew, its all in a days work.
David Lozada, Rappler, Cavite. - Rappler.com