Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – November 2, 2022
The Western Mindanao Command, through its Joint Task Forces, pledged to boost its humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations in communities severely hit by Typhoon Paeng.
Western Mindanao Command Acting Chief, Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas witnessed the situational briefing presented by Joint Task Force Central Commander, Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, and the BARMM and local officials to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. at the Kampilan Clubhouse, Camp Brig. Gen. Gonzalo Siongco, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat (DOS), Maguindanao del Norte on November 1, 2022.
In his message, President Marcos emphasized that the working relationship between the ministries of BARMM, the local government units, and other agencies must be strengthened and bureaucracy must be lessened. Collaboration during disaster response must be intensified and standard operating procedures and guidelines must be adjusted so that the best services are rendered, most especially to internally displaced persons. He further identified the 6th Infantry Division headquarters as the hub of all relief goods and supplies intended for the internally displaced persons affected by the calamity.
The president of the Republic of the Philippines also stressed that flood-control programs such as tree-planting must be conducted as he observed that most of the mountains in Maguindanao are not forested which makes it vulnerable to flash floods, landslides, and other tragedies.
Present during the briefing were the BARMM officials; local chief executives of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat; PRO-BAR Regional Director Police Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon; Lt. Col. Abdurasad Sirajan, Chief, Public Information Office, WestMinCom; other military and police officials; some of the Cabinet members; and Senator Robinhood Padilla.
Before proceeding to Camp Siongco, Brig. Gen. Rojas and his party conducted an aerial ocular inspection to assess and be well aware of the damages brought by Typhoon Paeng in Central Mindanao, particularly in the provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.
Seeing the wide range of destructions, Brig. Gen. Rojas shifted the deployment of additional air assets and placed naval assets on standby to support the relief operations in JTF Central’s area of responsibility.
During the onslaught of Typhoon Paeng, the armed forces braved the storm and rescued thousands of stranded/affected individuals in the central and western parts of Mindanao. “Our soldiers continuously take part in relief operations conducted by the lead agencies in evacuation centers. Our air force units are responsible for airlifting the relief goods to different isolated barangays and municipalities where bridges were damaged and roads are not passable,” Brig. Gen. Rojas said.
“The Western Mindanao Command is always ready to provide assistance and better interventions, may it be for security or disaster relief. Our troops from the Joint Task Force Central are giving their best effort to aid in the relief operations while continuously ensuring everybody’s safety from the terror plot of our adversaries. Other joint task forces also go the extra mile to help our Kababayans rise from the tragic situation,” the WestMinCom Acting Commander added.