PNP, Red Cross response teams mobilized

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) – November 1, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has activated the Disaster Incident Management Task Group (DIMTG) to coordinate search and rescue operations in areas that would be hit by Typhoon Rolly.

The PNP said the task group, consisting of representatives of disaster response units, will support the government’s disaster risk reduction and management efforts.

Among these units are the Special Action Force, Maritime Group, Highway Patrol Group and Police Community Affairs and Development Group.

“This is a most opportune time for the PNP to link arms with local governments, state agencies and private organizations to enliven the bayanihan spirit in the face of calamity,” PNP chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan said in a statement.

In Central Luzon, police regional commander Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon deployed 9,920 of the 12,400 police officers in the region covering the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.

“That is about 80 percent of our forces in the region,” De Leon said in a text message.

Cascolan directed police commanders in areas projected to be hit by the typhoon to mobilize their respective mobile force battalions and companies for swift reaction and assistance to local government units.

“On top of the PNP mandate to enforce the law is the duty to perform public safety operations to save lives during this season when normal community activities are momentarily interrupted by extreme weather conditions,” he said.

The PNP has also prepositioned relief goods for distribution in evacuation centers.

Police units were also instructed to keep all national highways and major thoroughfares clear of obstructions and debris for unhampered passage of rescue personnel, emergency vehicles and relief supplies.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is ramping up its preparations for the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly by mobilizing first aid volunteers and emergency response teams.

Aside from this, the PRC has also prepared relief items and rescue vehicles for dispatch.

PRC chairman Richard Gordon said in situations like this, “preparedness is the best defense.”

Gordon noted preparation is even more important when faced with “multiple disasters, including COVID-19 and successive typhoons.”

“Three storms have consecutively affected the country this month alone and now a potential super typhoon is heading our way. We are determined to do all we can to help these communities prepare for the oncoming storm,” he added.

Gordon maintained that PRC is determined to do everything to help these communities prepare for the oncoming storm. — Sheila Crisostomo

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