CEBU CITY – About 1,000 reservists in Central Visayas have undergone capability enhancement activities over the weekend with the aim to strengthen the territorial force in times of war and emergencies, an Army official said on Sunday.
Col. Edgar Mangabay, group commander of the 7th Regional Community Defense Group (7RCDG) of the Philippine Army Reserve Command, said the 44th National Reservist Week (NRW) this year is geared towards ensuring operational readiness and capabilities of the region’s reserve force.
“The reserve force is the base for AFP’s (Armed Forces of the Philippines) expansion, particularly for nation-building efforts, disaster relief operations and socio-economic development assistance. NRW is held to institutionalize skills and capability build-up of ready reserve units through proper accounting and fill-up,” Mangabay told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.
Mangabay lauded the reservists from the 1901st Ready Reserve Infantry Brigade and the 701st Ready Reserve Battalion for reviewing their marksmanship capabilities in a “record firing” training in Camp Lapu-Lapu.
On Saturday, the reservists participated in the symposium, humanitarian and disaster response (HADR) emergency drills, and held a static display of reservists and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) assets and capabilities at the SM Seaside and Ayala Center.
In his keynote speech during Saturday’s event, Cebu City Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros underscored the importance of building a strong and adaptive reserve force that can respond to any threats.
“Let us continue to work together, to train and prepare, and to be ready to answer the call whenever duty calls. Whether we serve in uniform or as civilians, let us never forget the importance of service to our nation, our communities, and our fellow citizens,” Hontiveros told the reservists attending the NRW event hosted by the Visayas Command.
Central Visayas has four Ready Reserve Battalions each in Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor supervised by the 701st Community Defense Center (CDC) while the 7RCDG oversees the 1901st Ready Reserve Brigade, led by Brig. Gen. Erik Miguel Espina.
Lt. Col. Ryan Braza, 7RCDG operations head, said their office, through its provincial CDCs, oversees 42 Army ROTC units in different colleges and universities comprising 21,000 cadets.
Apart from the 7RCDG, the Naval Reserve Center and Air Force Reserve Center are also directing reservist and ROTC affairs in the region. (PNA)