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Nation

Humanitarian resource depot opens at Clark

Ding Cervantes - The Philippine Star

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines – A P28.3-million humanitarian resource depot funded largely by Spain was inaugurated the other day at the 600th Air Base Wing grounds here as a measure to upgrade the country’s disaster mitigation capabilities.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spent P1.9 million for the conversion of building 7646 of the 600th Air Base Wing into a humanitarian resource depot, while the Spanish government’s funding agency AECID spent P26.4 million for the purchase of various equipment housed in the facility.

The equipment include rescue boats, heavy-duty generator, diesel generator sets, water pump sets, water sludge pumps, forklift, chainsaws, demolition jackhammers, rescue spine boards, ropes, handheld radios, mobile water treatment machines, water bladders, health paraphernalia, and tents.

Five more humanitarian resource depots will be built in key areas in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao within the next two years, according to William Beltran, regional director of the Philippine Information Agency.

In his speech during the inauguration, Spanish Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said the project was part of Spain’s commitment in beefing up the disaster risk reduction and management capabilities of the Philippines.

“For my country, helping our Filipino brothers is a duty. We have always stood behind the Philippines during its great need. Since 2007, Spain has channeled more than 28 million euros in humanitarian aid and DRRM (disaster risk reduction and management) assistance,” Margallo said.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the challenge of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and rehabilitation entails initiatives that are beyond the capabilities of the military.

In a related development, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said yesterday that the P507-million grant from Japan would be used to enhance the agency’s capability for search and rescue operations.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs website, the grant aid for the Project for Enhancement of Coastal Communications Systems would be implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications and the PCG. – With Evelyn Macairan

AIR BASE WING

DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

ENHANCEMENT OF COASTAL COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS

NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL

PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

PHILIPPINE INFORMATION AGENCY

SPANISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND COOPERATION MINISTER JOSE MANUEL GARCIA-MARGALLO

VISAYAS AND MINDANAO

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