Saturday, August 18, 2012

Army chief Lt General Bautista joins the relief operations in Laguna

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City- After watching the footages of communities still submerged in floodwaters in Laguna province, Army chief Lt General Emmanuel Bautista joined the distribution of relief goods in Pila town, Laguna yesterday, August 17, 2012.

Joined by various stakeholders including the LGU, NGO and the PNP, Army soldiers led by Bautista distributed three truckload of packed relief goods starting at about 2:00pm inside the gymnasium of Pila town.

Bautista said that the collaboration among various stakeholders during natural calamities is the best way to solve common problems encountered by the people.

"This is the essence of Bayanihan that we are advocating nationwide. Your Army will always be a willing partner in these efforts which benefit the people in affected communities," said Bautista who was joined by 202nd Infantry Brigade Commander Col Ivan Samarita during the distribution of packed relief items. 

Pila Mayor Edgardo Ramos appreciated the gesture shown by the Army, especially upon learning that Gen Bautista himself was joining the relief efforts.

Ramos said that 962 families received the packs of relief goods containing bottled water, canned goods, rice and clothing.

Earlier in the day, soldiers and policemen also distributed relief items in Bagong Pook village of the same town.

Lt Col Jose Augusto Villareal of the 1st Infantry Battalion and Laguna Police Provincial Director Senior Supt Gilbert Cruz personally handed out relief items to at least 350 families whose homes are still flooded. They also joined Bautista and Mayor Ramos in the distribution of goods at the gymnasium later in the afternoon.

The relief goods were provided by ABS-CBN's Sagip Kapamilya, an active organization in the relief operations in many affected communities.

Bautista has directed the Civil-Military Operations Group of the Philippine Army to support various NGOs in relief operations.

Similar efforts are also supported by the Army in affected areas of Metro Manila, Pampanga, Pangasinan and Bulacan. 

This is my report regarding the relief operations. I was travelling on board a military chopper from the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio towards the town of Pila. We checked all the villages along Laguna de Bay starting from Taguig, Muntinlupa and the towns of Laguna. The onslaught of Habagat is taking its toll on the lives of the people in these communities. In our own little way, the Army will continuously support the disaster response operations launched by the government in partnership with the other stakeholders like the NGOs.

I saw my mistah, PSupt Chito Bersaluna who joined his boss, PSSupt Gilbert Cruz, in helping the flood-stricken communities of the province (Photo by Cpt Ali Sumangil)

PSupt Kirby Kraft and PSupt Chito Bersaluna of PNPA 1994 came to support the Army and the other stakeholders in our Bayanihan efforts during natural calamities (Photo by Cpl Marlon San Esteban)

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