Senator Nancy Binay said she will formally write the Department of Foreign Affairs to seek assistance from the international community to help the government in its relief and rescue missions.
“Sa Monday pagbalik namin sa Senado we will formally write Secretary Locsin na i-explore nya yung option of asking for foreign aid,” Binay said during an interview with DWIZ.
She said she will ask DFA to activate the Philippine International Assistance Cluster (PIHAC) and make the call for humanitarian aid from foreign states and organizations.
However, Binay said she hopes the DFA would act even without a formal request from her office and noted how urgent the situation is for those still stranded in flooded areas.
“May interest of time. May mga kababayan tayo na nasa mga bubong pa nila sa Isabela kaya dapat may sense of urgency,” the senator said.
In 2018, the Philippines promulgated the Philippine International Humanitarian Assistance guidelines which contains policies on accepting and coordinating international humanitarian assistance.
Under the guidelines, the Philippine International Humanitarian Assistance Cluster (PIHAC) led by DFA was established and will be the primary body in coordinating incoming and outgoing international humanitarian assistance.
In the event of a catastrophic event in which government capacities are overwhelmed, the PIHA guidelines state that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) shall recommend to the President the issuance of an appeal for international humanitarian assistance, with the PIHA Cluster, in coordination with the NDRRMC Response Pillar, determining the start and end for the call of international humanitarian assistance.
Binay had earlier appealed to Malacanang to seek support from the international community in terms of lending the Philippines disaster response support as the country stuggles to rescue, feed and shelter typhoon and flood victims.
She lamented that there was a time when the Philippines need not ask help, and the international community would automatically come to government’s aid.
The senator likewise appealed to DFA Sec. Teodoro Locsin to ask the United Nations and members of the International Community to lend the Philippines rescue equipment, personnel and air assets critical to disaster response and rescue operations.