Around 50 active members of the Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) heeded the call of duty when residents of in Talisay, Batangas were trapped in their homes during Taal Volcano’s eruption.
The reservists came from the 1303rd Community Defense Center, National Capital Region – Regional Community Defense Group (NCR-RCDG).
Army Lt. Col. Francisco Ramos, who led the rescue operations on January 13, said the reservists gathered on Sunday night to coordinate with the military and then proceeded to Miranda Village in Talisay, Batangas.
“The operations are still ongoing and we have more reservists who signed up for deployment while some of the first batch returned to their homes,” Ramos said in a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency on Wednesday.
Ramos said over 3,000 families from Talisay and surrounding towns have been evacuated to safer grounds and given access to government’s feeding programs as well as other necessities including facemasks, medicines, relief goods, as well as sleeping and hygiene kits.
“This is the good thing about having reservists. With their training on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR), they are ready whenever a calamity strikes. They can aid the authorities in their duties and they are fully equipped to help their fellowmen in need,” Ramos said.
The reservists from the Air Force and Navy have also participated in the relief and rescue operations.
Sgt. Carlito Baurile Jr. from the Municipality of Alfonso in Cavite brought his team to help and care for the victims.
Baurile, who heads the 22-barangay municipality’s security department, encouraged his men to join the operations.
“Napakalaking bagay para sa amin ang makapagbigay ng tulong sa mga nangangailangan nating kababayan. Ito ay panahon upang maibahagi namin ang aming serbisyo sa mga tao bilang parte ng isang maayos na komunidad (It’s a big opportunity for us to give help to our fellowmen who have fallen victims in this situation. This is the time we share our service to the people as part of this well-functioning community),” he said. (PNA)