PNP to buy equipment to boost disaster response
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima said the PNP would buy aircraft and maritime equipment in anticipation of disasters.
In a command conference, Purisima cited the importance of having an airlift capability following an assessment of the PNP’s performance in recent calamities where it encountered difficulties in transporting its personnel to affected areas.
Purisima was referring to the police deployment in Tacloban, the hardest hit area by Supertyphoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) — the strongest typhoon on record to make landfall.
Because of the massive damage, peace and order became a problem as widespread looting occurred.
If there were enough equipment and transportation, augmentation forces from the police could have responded immediately to the situation, he said.
“The PNP was having difficulty with transportation. Our vehicles are mobile cars . . . our sole chopper crashed in Kalinga,” said Purisima, referring to the accident last June 19, when the PNP helicopter carrying three police ffficials crashed while on their way to Kalinga for a marijuana eradication drive. The three policemen were hurt in the incident.
“We need military-type vehicles that can climb mountains when roads are damaged,” Purisima added.
The police chief said the PNP has proposed the procurement of aircraft and maritime exquipment.
“I’m not very particular how many but we are trying to get fix-wing, rotary wing, and water assets also,” he said.
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