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AFP cuts down party expenses for `Sendong’ victims

MANILA, Philippines–In sympathy with the victims of tropical storm Sendong, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has scaled down its AFP Day celebration on Dec. 21,
The use of fireworks and the display of military disaster response units for the parade have been canceled.
The AFP leadership has also canceled the traditional formal dinner of all military commanders with President Aquino that night, as part of the celebration.
As a result, the AFP will save about P3 million which will be rechanneled to the ongoing rescue and relief operations, a military spokesman said.
“With what has happened in Mindanao, we are finding ways how to rechannel resources to help in the rescue and relief efforts. The disaster component
units that will join the parade have been taken out and diverted to Mindanao,” Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said.
But the fly-by exercise of military planes for the AFP anniversary celebration at the general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo was retained.
Burgos said these planes are not used in disaster response operations. He said other military assets have been tapped to transport relief goods.
Two Air Forces Fokker planes will leave Tuesday morning each carrying 20 donated coffins.
The BRP Dagupan (LSV 551) will also leave on Tuesday morning to bring in relief goods and 400 to 500 coffins donated by Pampanga mayors.
During the flag raising ceremony on Monday, AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa thanked the thousands of soldiers leading the task of retrieving victims and assisting in relief operations.
He called for voluntary donation from soldiers for the victims.
Most soldiers and civilian employees based in Camp Aguinaldo gave up one day’s worth of their subsistence allowance amounting to P90 to donate to the disaster operations.
The Naval Forces South assigned in the Bicol region also immediately followed suit and gave up their subsistence allowance for one day.
About 20,000 soldiers from the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command, Western Mindanao Command and Central Command are in the thick of rescue, retrieval and relief operations.
4:39 pm | Monday, December 19th, 2011


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