Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos, Jr. today reported that a total of 8,642 police officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are currently deployed in affected areas, vital installations and evacuation centers in the affected regions to help in the Super Typhoon 'Karding' disaster relief and peace and order efforts along with 11,619 Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) firefighters and personnel.
“As of the moment, more than 8,000 police officers of the PNP are deployed to assist local government units (LGUs) amid the onslaught of Karding. They are stationed in various areas in seven regions affected by the typhoon. These police officers are on the ground actively helping in the efforts to ensure that our kababayans are safe and protected,” Abalos said.
“Samantalala, naroon din naman ang mahigit sa 11,000 nating mga kasama sa BFP na tumutulong sa mga local government units upang alalayan ang ating mga kababayan,” he added.
Abalos said that, of the more than 8k police personnel deployed in affected regions, 3,030 are evacuation centers and vacated and affected areas, while 5,612 are in vital installations such as public markets, gas stations, terminals, warehouses, relief operation centers and other public convergence areas.
He said 1,270 police personnel are deployed in NCR; 904 in Region 1; 987 in Region 2; 1.551 in Region 3; 1,546 in CALABARZON; 1,727 in MIMAROPA; 486 in Region 5; and 171 in CAR.
For the BFP, Abalos said that 1,591 firefighters and personnel are helping in Region 1; 1,170 in Region 2; 1,840 in Region 3; 1,223 in CALABARZON; 241 in MIMAROPA; 1,361 in Region V; 1,829 in Region 6; 1,650 in NCR; and 704 in CAR. He added that 1,596 firetrucks, 103 ambulances, 22 rescue trucks, and seven rescue boats are also at disposal if the need arises.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mga kapulisan ng PNP at bumbero ng BFP sa kanilang paglilingkod sa gitna ng malakas na bagyong ito. The LGUs need all the help they can receive,” Abalos said.
Meanwhile, Abalos said LGUs of Regions 1, 2, 3, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, VI, CAR, and the National Capital Region (NCR) stepped up and proactively responded in anticipation of Karding.
He said that reports from the ground stated that the LGUs were able to convene their respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMCs) and conduct Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) meetings; activated Barangay DRRMCs for close coordination, prepositioning of necessary supplies and preparation of evacuation centers; and, conducted pre-emptive evacuations starting on September 24, 2022.
LGUs likewise spearheaded in informing Punong Barangays of weather advisories and other relevant information; advising residents in high-risk areas to take precautionary measures, and immediately evacuate to designated safe sites, when advised by local authorities; pruning of trees, clearing of waterways, street drainage, and other preparedness measures were conducted, among others. “We appreciate LGUs along the path of Super Typhoon ‘Karding’ for beefing up their preparations and carrying out all necessary preemptive measures needed.”
Super Typhoon 'Karding' with an international name of ‘Noru’ made landfall in Burdeos in the Municipality on the Polillo Islands, part of Quezon province, at 5:30 p.m yesterday.
LCEs must be on guard
DILG Secretary Abalos likewise reminded all concerned local chief executives (LCEs) to stand their ground and be physically present, especially in affected areas and communities most susceptible to disasters, before, during, and after the weather disturbance.
“It’s crucial that leaders are looking after their constituents in circumstances such as super typhoons. LCEs dapat ang nangunguna sa paghahanda sa anumang sakuna at pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng kanilang nasasakupan,”Abalos said.
Abalos said that for valid reasons that LCEs are not in their stations, they should designate an officer-in-charge who will take charge amidst the ongoing weather situation. “Magtulungan po tayo. Gawin natin ang lahat para sa kapakanan ng ating mga mamamayan,” he said.
Meanwhile, in line with the suspension of work and classes in affected regions declared by President Ferdinand ‘BongBong’ Marcos, Jr., Abalos underscored that for LGUs not covered by the President’s directive but are experiencing localized weather disturbances, “suspension of work and classes shall be subjected to the discretion of the LCE.”