Army vows continued support in typhoon relief ops

The commander of the Philippine Army’s 302nd Infantry Brigade based in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental on Wednesday vowed continued support and participation in relief and rehabilitation efforts in the province following the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette in mid-December.

Col. Leonardo Peña told the Philippine News Agency in an interview that they are providing military personnel, logistics, transportation, and security, among others to many areas in Negros Oriental that were badly hit by the typhoon and struggling to recover from the devastation.

“Actually, the military is just providing a support role now after different sectors are pooling their resources and the recovery efforts are led by the local government units (LGUs),” he said in mixed English and Cebuano.

The Army took on an active role in clearing and rescue operations immediately after the typhoon.

Peña also said they are also providing “limited engineering efforts” from the 54th Army Engineering Brigade.

Meanwhile, acting Sec. Roger Mercado of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) made a quick visit to Negros Oriental on Wednesday to inspect the damage wrought by Typhoon Odette.

Peña said the DPWH chief came from Cebu province on board a Philippine Air Force Blackhawk helicopter which landed at the brigade headquarters in Camp Leon Kilat, Tanjay City.

Gov. Roel Degamo held a briefing with Mercado on the damaged infrastructure in the province.

A report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) showed that as of Jan. 5, the partial amount of damage to DPWH infrastructure has amounted to PHP16.65 million in the 1st Engineering District; PHP159 million in the 2nd Engineering District; and PHP20.3 million in the 3rd Engineering District.

These infrastructures include roads and bridges, among others.

The Provincial Engineering Office also reported some PHP600 million worth of infrastructures that were damaged by “Odette” and the cost of restoration is pegged at some PHP1.8 billion.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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