PPA, PCG provide swift assistance after Mindanao quake

PPA, PCG provide swift assistance after Mindanao quake

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Following the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit several parts of Mindanao Thursday morning, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), both attached agencies of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), immediately mobilized to aid affected citizens.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade directed the PPA and PCG to exhaust all efforts in providing the necessary help and support to local and provincial governments.

“Sa loob ng isang linggo, dalawang lindol ang nagdaan sa Mindanao. Sa panahong ito, tayo ay magkaisa at magkapit-bisig upang matulungan ang ating mga kababayan. Gawin natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya na maihatid ang anumang tulong na kailangan ng publiko (This week, two earthquakes hit Mindanao. This is the time that we should unite and work together to help our countrymen. Let us do all we can to deliver any assistance they need),” Tugade said.

In response, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago instructed all Project Management Offices (PMOs) in affected areas to properly coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Local Government Units (LGUs), and local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices (DRRMOs) on how they can offer assistance in disaster management efforts.

“We are ready to provide assistance to affected areas. PPA is ready to help in whatever way we can. We are one with government, in prayer and in action, to restore immediately what has been damaged by the quake,” he said.

Santiago ordered PMOs to send bottled water and non-perishable food to evacuation areas, provide additional port personnel, and reallocate available Malasakit supplies for the aid of earthquake victims.

Santiago also directed to prioritize cargoes and personnel that are intended for rescue and disaster management efforts.

For the PCG’s part, Coast Guard Commandant, Vice Admiral Joel Garcia initiated the deployment of all coast guard assets available to affected areas in Davao City, Davao del Sur, and Cotabato.

Upon Tugade’s instructions, Garcia ordered the deployment of all PCG K-9 search and rescue dogs to assist in locating possible missing persons affected by the earthquake. Likewise, all Coast Guard units in Mindanao were instructed to deploy half of their personnel and all transport vehicles and ambulances to augment rescue operations.

Doctors and nurses from the PCG and PCG Auxiliary were also tapped to deliver medical assistance to injured victims.

Garcia also appealed for the assistance of all non-government organizations and the private sector to offer relief goods to affected victims, with PCG vessels on standby for the shipment.

“I am seeking the assistance of all non-government organizations and private sectors for relief goods as soon as possible in order to augment the needs of the victims. You may directly coordinate with all PCG vessels deployed nationwide for shipment,” Garcia stated.

Furthermore, a PCG Islander 251 wing plane with K-9 units and 500 handheld radios onboard will be deployed on Friday to enhance search and rescue operations all over Mindanao. (PR)

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