A humanitarian mission team sent by the Bicol Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) to assist victims of the Taal Volcano eruption arrived in Batangas province on Monday afternoon.
The RDRRMC held a brief ceremony here on Sunday to send off the group that will assist disaster responders in Batangas.
Comprising of 100 individuals, the One Bicol Emergency Response Team (OBERT) left this city in a convoy of 16 vehicles after the departure prayer.
Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal, who also chairs the Regional Development Council (RDC), said during the send-off that the humanitarian mission is a platform to show how Bicolanos demonstrate their love for their fellow Filipinos in times of disaster.
“We want them to feel the love of Bicolanos in times of disaster. We are willing to help since we know and experience the impact of an eruption, now it is time for us to help them also,” he said.
Arnel Garcia, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Bicol, in an interview said the team would be helping on camp coordination and management, giving psychological first-aid to the victims, and on maintaining sanitation and hygiene.
“The team will also bring their own kitchen brigade, water lorry, carpenters and will be based on the biggest camp which is Bauan Technical High School for seven days,” he added.
Marygizelle Mesa, DSWD-Bicol spokesperson, said in a separate interview that the relief assistance they sent amounted to a total of PHP3.8 million.
The aid consisted of 5,000 food packs, 900 infant cereals, 318 packs of ready to eat chicken arroz caldo from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and 3,000 sleeping kits, she added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eric Raborar, chief of the Health Emergency Management Staff of the Bicol Regional Health Teaching and Training Hospital said: “We will go there with three objectives — first is response, this is a calibrated response based on their needs; second is to give back the help they extended during the times that we are in need; and third, to learn from this experience”.
Well-wishers who attended the send-off prayed for a successful delivery of services to the Taal Volcano eruption victims by the Bicolano team. (PNA)