The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday deployed a 25-member medical contingent to Davao City which has been classified as a “restricted LGU (local government unit)” following the increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the city.
AFP deputy chief-of-staff for civil-military operations Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo represented chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay during the sendoff ceremony at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
National Task Force on Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. led the ceremony which was also attended by Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and retired Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, NTF deputy chief implementer for the Visayas,
The contingent is composed of five teams of military doctors and nurses, and medical aides from the AFP Health Service Command, Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Air Force.
These medical teams would head to Davao City to augment efforts to prevent further spread of Covid-19 and increase the health system capability of the city.
This after Davao City was classified as “Restricted LGU” due to the surge of Covid-19 cases in the area which has reached 5,562 as of Nov. 20.
“We are tirelessly working together since the Covid pandemic started, the continuous and collective efforts of the AFP have all yielded fruitful results as we are able to provide medical service despite the growing challenges in our society,” Arevalo said in delivering Gapay’s message.
The contingent is led by the most senior officer, Maj. Sheryl D. Balmeo from the Philippine Army Medical Corps. All members of the contingent underwent swab testing and flu vaccination before their flight at 8 a.m. via a Philippine Air Force C-130 aircraft.
Upon the arrival of the contingent, the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) will assume operational control of the medical teams. EastMincom will provide billeting, security, and service support for the contingent during the duration of their deployment as Davao City is under its area-of-responsibility.
To date, the AFP has deployed over 2,000 doctors, nurses, and medical auxiliary personnel in Covid-19 treatment and quarantine facilities nationwide.
The AFP has also deployed 10,945 personnel to community quarantine assistance areas nationwide to support Sub-Task Group Peace and Order.
“Nakita natin na sa lahat ng anumang (We have seen that in any) calamities, whether it is typhoon, earthquake or even flooding, nandyan kayo, alam nyo yung sitwasyon na nangyari sa (you were there, you know the situation and what happened in) Cebu, Bacolod, when the national government called for your service, nakita namin na talaga namang (we have seen that the) the armed forces is really willed, it is the unit and the command that we can rely on,” Galvez said.
The AFP’s efforts against Covid-19 continue and will not falter as other units are committed to the ongoing clearing and relief operations in areas devastated by recent typhoons. (PNA)