LEGAZPI CITY (28-Feb-12/PNA) – Albay Governor Joey Salceda said that his province was chosen as a venue for PHL-US Pacific Angel 12-1, a joint humanitarian program by the US Pacific Command in the Pacific area, on March 5 to 10.
In a press briefing on Monday, Salceda said all preparation are in place for the holding of the Pacific Angel 12-1 in Albay, being one of the globally known province in pursuing an effective disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA) initiative.
He said the humanitarian mission is aimed to improve cooperation between national and local governments, military, international organizations and non-government organizations in responding to disasters.
Albay is one of the most disaster prone areas in the country, it has so many success stories to share on DRRM and CCA, it has also institutionalize civil-military cooperation in disaster preparedness and response.
He said this is the third time that Albay was selected as a venue for this kind of humanitarian mission in four years, citing that similar humanitarian mission was held by the USS Peleliu in 2007, RP-US Balikatan in 2009.
For his part, US Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Black of the Pacific Angel 12-1 said the event is not a combat exercise, but purely humanitarian, civic assistance and capacity building efforts.
Black said some 81 US personnel, composed of medical and engineering team, including two doctors from the Republic of Cambodia Armed Forces and two military observers from Tonga on board the US Air Force C-17 military transport aircraft would arrive at the Legazpi Airport on March 1, this year for the six-day humanitarian mission in Albay.
The humanitarian assistance activities are limited to health services, engineering Civic Action Projects and lectures on DRRM and CCA.
The humanitarian assistance is expected to provide free medical and other health related services to more than 10,000 beneficiaries and repair of four school buildings and public utilities.
Areas covered by the humanitarian mission are: Brgy. Tagas, Binitayan in Daraga; Arandurugan Social Hall in Guinobatan, Municipal Gymnasium in Sto Domingo; Bigaa and Lamba in this city.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA) said security measures are in place to safeguard all participants of the humanitarian activities. (PNA)