22 Desember 2011
C130 Hercules (photo : Vaclav Kudela)
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Occidental (PIA) -- Responding to the problem of food scarcity in Typhoon Sendong devastated areas of the vity, President Benigno S. Aquino III promised to buy at least two more units of the C130 Cargo plane for the Philippine Air Force (PAF), next year.
During his visit to assess the devastation brought by ‘Sendong’ in the city, the president said that there is only one C130 Cargo Plane in the PAF inventory that has been bringing relief items to flashflood victims. He added that it is currently down for maintenance.
“We have offers of assistance coming in from America, Russia, Japan and other countries and the Americans will, most probably, provide us with the necessary airlift capability to fast track what we need,” Aquino said.
We have two other C130 cargo planes in the pipeline but they’re not yet ready for events like this and will be available only, next year, he also said.
According to him, the funds to buy the planes are readily available.
“We have at least two (2) sources to tap, domestic and foreign: the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be assisting us with a loan of US$3million grant and the World Bank (WB) facility that has also offered us,” the President added.
He said many Filipinos in the other parts of the country have responded to his call for help and the donated items only wait for the availability to transport them, where they are needed.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has reported to the president that PAF has airlifted some P21.53 million-worth of relief supplies from Dec. 18-20, as augmentation support to the on-going relief operations in Northern Mindanao.
These supplies included food and non-food items, such as, sacks of rice, boxes of instant noodles, canned goods, bottled drinking water, mats, blankets, mosquito nets, used clothing, medicines, cadaver bags and even coffins, among others.
In his orders as the Commander-n-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Aquino directed PAF’s Search and Rescue Squadrons (SRS) to help in the search, rescue, retrieval and recovery (SRRR) operations of the flashflood areas.
For this purpose, the 5053rd based in Davao City had established an advance command post (ACP) at the Tactical Operations Group, Northern Mindanao (TOG-10) Headquarters in Lumbia Airport, this city.
The team also deployed three UH-IH helicopters with tail numbers 517, 317 and 806 to do the SAR sorties in the flashflood-affected barangays of the city.
Helping out in the SRRR Operations in the Negros and Iloilo is the 5052ndSRS, which is based Mactan, Cebu City. (PIA-10)