PUDTOL, Apayao – Search and rescue teams deployed in various parts of Apayao province will feel more confident and safe when responding to emergency situations as the provincial government invested a total of PHP15 million worth of additional equipment to boost its disaster preparedness.
Sourced from its 5 percent calamity fund this year, Apayao has acquired at least two units of rescue ambulance, two 6×6 trucks, one boom truck, 4×4 rescue pickup vehicle, seven inflatable rescue boats, 410 modular tents, tactical rescue uniforms and fire-fighting equipment.
Except for the two 6×6 trucks, one generator set, tactical rescue uniforms and six inflatable rescue boats, all of the procured equipment are now at the Apayao Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. The others are expected to be delivered before the year-end.
Joeffrey Borromeo, Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer, said Sunday the additional equipment is a big boost to rescuers during typhoons and other emergency situations.
“We are grateful for having these additional assets to ensure the safety of our constituents during calamities,” he said.
With frequent heavy rainfall particularly at this time of the year, Apayao residents continue to experience extreme flooding in low-lying towns of Luna, Pudtol, Santa Marcela and Flora while landslide and rock fall incidents are also prevalent in the upper towns of Calanasan, Kabugao and Conner.
Flash floods also put people’s lives at risk particularly those living in highly vulnerable areas, hence, the need for additional rescue boats and pick-up vehicles when the level of water rises to dangerous levels.
In the 2021 budget, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) proposed the construction of its own operation center with motorpool and warehouse to store its equipment when these are not in use.
The PDRRMO also plans to hire more personnel next year for quick disaster response. (PNA)