Air Force deploys plane, choppers for relief efforts
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2012 - 7:00pm

As the national government is racing against time to reach and assist thousands of hungry individuals in the typhoon Pablo devastated villages in Davao region, the Philippine Air Force has deployed its lone C-130 cargo plane and six helicopters to ferry and deliver food and non-food items to the needy residents.

Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino Dela Cruz said that since Wednesday, tons of relief goods have been flown by its C-130 plane to Davao while its Sokol and UH-IH helicopters have been transporting in foods and clothing to the hungry and homeless residents in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

“We have already deployed our C-130 cargo plane which we recently acquired from the United States (US) in the ongoing disaster and relief operations in Davao,” Dela Cruz said.

Dela Cruz added six air force helicopters, have been flying foodstuffs to marooned areas in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental in support of the ongoing search and rescue as well as relief operations of the ground troops and other government and private agencies.

As of Wednesday, a total of 54,034 families or 250,511 individuals, mostly from Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, were reported to have been displaced by Pablo after devastating the area for two days starting last Monday.

“Marami pang mga lugar na hindi pa nararating ng mga ground troops dahil putol ang mga tulay o sira ang mga daan, kaya helicopter ang ginagamit natin para magdala ng mga relief goods sa mga nasalanta,” Dela Cruz said.

As per report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the government has already delivered P9.6 million worth in assistance to the displaced residents. This assistance came in the form of food and non-food items to include medicines and clothing which were provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Health and non-government organizations to needy residents.

NDRRMC also reported that the trail of devastation left by typhoon Pablo to agriculture and infrastructure in Davao region has been placed at P180.540 million.

Registering the highest cost in damages were government infrastructure in the form of destroyed buildings, roads, highways and bridges amounting to P172.6 million, destroyed private properties amounting P5.420 million and agriculture at P2.5 million.

The US government, meanwhile, is providing $100,000 to the ongoing disaster relief efforts in Pablo’s affected areas.

“In the wake of the tragic death and destruction caused by typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha), the US government, through the United States Agency for International Development is providing $10,000 to the Catholic Relief Services to support disaser relief efforts,” said US Embassy Manila Charge’ d’Affaires Brian Goldbeck.

Goldbeck also extended his government’s deepest condolences to the Philippine government for the devastation and loss of life caused by Pablo.

After consulting with the Philippine government, teams from the USAID-Philippines will be conducting humanitarian assessments in the typhoon-affected areas, including Davao and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao, Negros Oriental in Visayas, Palawan and in Luzon in the coming days to determine where this assistance is most needed said Goldbeck.

 

AFFAIRES BRIAN GOLDBECK AS OF WEDNESDAY CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES COMPOSTELA VALLEY AND DAVAO ORIENTAL DAVAO DAVAO AND CAGAYAN DAVAO ORIENTAL AND COMPOSTELA VALLEY DELA CRUZ DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT GOVERNMENT
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