Thursday, December 13, 2012

Army provides more support for typhoon Pablo's victims

Army Chief Lt General Emmanuel Bautista delivers his message to the officers and men of the 10th Infantry Division during his visit at their headquarters in Tuburan village, Mawab, Compostela Valley on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. Behind him is the Commander of the 10th ID, Major General Ariel Bernardo. (Photo by Major Harold M Cabunoc)

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – After seeing the devastation in the area during his visit to the Army's 10th Infantry Division two days ago, Army Chief Lt Gen Emmanuel T Bautista decided to provide more support for the hapless victims of Typhoon 'Pablo' in the provinces of both Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. 

Bautista personally saw the aftermath of the super typhoon as he traveled with his party from Davao City to Tuburan town, Compostela Valley early afternoon on Tuesday, December 12. 

He promptly directed the post units and offices inside the Army headquarters here to cancel the traditional Christmas party, in order to provide more funds for the tens of thousands of people who were affected by the calamity. 

At least P1 Million will be donated by the Army to augment the funds intended for the typhoon victims. The amount will be turned over to a counterpart government agency through the 10th Infantry Division.

"It is high time for us to show the spirit of Bayanihan during natural calamities. We can solve various community problems by helping each other so that we can move forward as a nation," said Bautista.

Thanking the soldiers

During his 'Talk to the Men', Bautista expressed his appreciation for the heroism displayed by the soldiers as they carried out their mandated tasks. 

He gave each soldier a simple token of a personalized Swiss card which contains minute multi-tools that could be used for various purposes.

"Each of you will receive this item as a Christmas gift for your invaluable accomplishments for the Army," he said.

During his visit to the hospital bed of the injured soldiers who were swept away by the rampaging floods, Bautista chatted with the soldiers about their harrowing experiences.

He gave each one of them gift certificates that they can use to procure various supplies from the local military commissary.

Lt Martin Nuas, the Executive Officer of Charlie Company, 66th Infantry Battalion was one of the injured soldiers.

Nuas and his men were swept by the raging floodwaters  while trying to evacuate some residents towards safer places.

"I was lucky that I survived and given another lease of life. I can't wait to come back and serve in the frontlines again," said Nuas, adding, "I would like to thank General Bautista for remembering us and showing that he cares for the soldiers."

While Nuas and several others survived to share their story, 6 of their companions perished in the floods and 5 have remained missing until today.

2nd Lt Jose Martin Nuas of C/66IB shares his story to 10th ID chief Major General Ariel Bernardo. Nuas and his men were swept away by raging floodwaters while trying to save some residents whose homes were devastated by the flood early in the morning on December 4, 2012. (Photo by Major Harold M Cabunoc)
 Lt General Bautista chats with a soldier who narrated his experiences during the onslaught of typhoon 'Pablo' in Bgy Andap, New Bataan, Compostela Valley. The soldier was driving a KM 450 truck carrying flood victims when they were swept away by the floods. He was one of those who luckily survived by clinging on a tree several kilometers downstream. (Video by Major Harold Cabunoc)

Financial assistance

The Army has also announced that the family of each of the dead soldiers will receive financial assistance that is similar to the benefits received by combat casualties. 

Col Leandro Loyao III, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel of the Philippine Army, said that at least P500,000.00 will be granted to the dependents of the fallen soldiers. 

He said that the amount includes the special financial assistance amounting to P250,000.00 provided by President Benigno S Aquino III for every  soldier who die in the line of duty.

Meanwhile, the Army has also provided medical assistance for all injured soldiers to ensure that they easily recuperate from their injuries.

Help pours in

The Philippine Army through the Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG) was able to collect 50,000 pounds of relief items for the typhoon victims.

At about 2 p.m. yesterday, December 12, the C-130 plane carrying 23,000 pounds of these items landed at the Davao City airport.

CMOG Commander Col Cirilito Sobejana personally supervised the turn-over of relief items to the DSWD Warehouse in Davao City.

The delivered items included bottles of treated water, sacks of used clothing and rice, and boxes of assorted food and toiletries.

The Army has also alerted the 525th Engineering Battalion to deploy its troops for the ongoing search and retrieval operations as well as relief operations in the areas devastated by Typhoon 'Pablo'.

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