The Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade at Camp Gerona in Murcia, Negros Occidental, and its line battalions are on alert for upcoming typhoons and any unwanted natural disasters that may occur in the province, Col. Inocencio Pasaporte said Thursday, November 12.
Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said he alerted the 34 Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) teams from the 303rd Infantry Brigade, 62nd Infantry Battalion and 79th Infantry Battalion composed of 350 regular soldiers to be deployed in the 1st to 5th districts of Negros Occidental and 1st district of Negros Oriental.
The HADR teams are trained in basic first aid, light and water search rescue operations and incident command systems by the Philippine Army, Office of Civil Defense and local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices to ensure that they are mission capable and fully responsive, Captain Kelvin Bayaban, 303rd IB Civil Military Operations Officer, said.
All military personnel trained for disaster response operations are ready for deployment in the entire province. They are augmented by reservists and auxiliary units ready reserve forces, he said. said.
Aside from the HADR related training, the teams are also equipped with basic search and rescue equipment, which include life jackets, life rings, floating devices, rescue helmets, utility ropes, chainsaws and folding stretchers, Bayaban added.
The Army also has military field ambulances, trucks and utility vehicles to provide necessary mobility assistance, he said.
“Your Army in Negros is in a high state of readiness, preparation, and dedication. We are always ready and alert both in times of natural calamities and man-made disasters since the lives and safety of the people are of paramount importance. But the attainment of this objective is based on strong collaboration and cooperation among the local government units, agencies and stakeholders,” Pasaporte said.*