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AFP mobilizes to bring relief supplies to ‘Sendong’ affected areas

MANILA, Philippines- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have begun mobilizing to bring much needed relief supplies to victims of tropical storm “Sendong” (international name: WASHI) in Mindanao, an AFP spokesperson said Monday.
The Navy and the Air Force are set to transport relief goods and coffins to the storm ravaged areas in the southern Philippines, AFP Spokesperson Colonel Arnulfo Burgos said.
One Landing Ship Vessel, the BRP Dagupan, capable of carrying an entire battalion of troops, is already on standby in Cavite City. The BRP Dagupan will bring relief goods and coffins to the southern Philippines. It will take approximately two days to get to Mindanao.
Two Philippine Air Force Fokker Planes were scheduled to transport relief goods and coffins to Mindanao as well. They would bring around 20 coffins and relief goods, Burgos said.
Around 400 to 500 coffins were donated by a group of Pampanga Mayors. Burgos cited reports from the field that coffins were the most needed right now and that funeral parlors were running out.
A disaster response unit that was set to participate in the upcoming AFP Foundation day parade on December 21 has been mobilized instead to the calamity-struck areas of Mindanao.
Two medical teams from the V. Luna General Hospital are only waiting for the medical supplies they will be bringing to Mindanao before they are dispatched.
An estimated 20,000 troops from the Eastern Mindanao Command, Western Mindanao Command and Central Mindanao Command have shifted to disaster relief and rescue efforts, Burgos said.
The soldiers and staff of the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Camp Aguinaldo and the Field Naval Forces Southern Luzon have answered a call by AFP chief of staff, Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa, to donate one day of their meal subsistence allowance for the victims of Sendong, Burgos said.
One day of meal subsistence allowance corresponds to about P90 per soldier. Dellosa also called for the troops to donate relief goods, dry rations and whatever else they can give that will help the victims of the calamity.
The AFP Ball, a traditional dinner party on the AFP Foundation day where AFP officials can meet the Commander-in-chief President Benigno Aquino, has been cancelled in light of the calamity.
The AFP Foundation day celebration, set on December 21, has been toned down. The fireworks display will no longer push through, the resources for which will be allocated instead to help the disaster-relief operations, Burgos said.
5:30 pm | Monday, December 19th, 2011


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