AFP reservists to help LGUs in disaster response
By Jimmyley I. Guzman
QUEZON CITY, July 22 (PIA) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reserved Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) companies has joined forces with local DRRM units in the National Capital Region (NCR) to further strengthen disaster response operations in Metro Manila.
In a ceremony last Saturday, July 20 in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin said "the paradigm shift of being proactive from a reactive stance on DRRM gives more assurance that, together, we are better prepared to achieve our vision of having a safer, adaptive, and disaster-resilient community towards sustainable development."
The integrated AFP Reservist DRRM units shall act as reliable first responder groups that will assist DRRM components of the Local Government Units (LGUs) during disaster and calamities. They will also serve as prepositioned units which will spearhead Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation, and work closely with the LGUs and local populace.
The activity is one of the AFP, Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the DND’s proactive measures in preparation for the coming typhoon season. It is also part of the DRRM Units Integration Program which aims to organize and activate 137 DRRM Companies in three years (2013-2015) to assist in building disaster resilient communities and ensure unhampered development.
The integration program further seeks to institutionalize partnership between the AFP and OCD in provision of manpower training, and equipment as well as sharing in funding support of proposed DRRM companies in 15 regions nationwide.
It also aims to strengthen and sustain the reserve force capability through unit and individual training in collaboration with concerned stakeholders.
At present, 19 DRRM units have already been designated and activated nationwide; one each in Metro Cebu and Metro Davao and one in each cities, and lone municipality of NCR with an additional Maneuver DRRM company in NCR.
Meanwhile, the AFP enjoins the public to support the program and encouraged them to do ‘Bayanihan’ to build disaster-resilient communities. (AFP-PAO/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)