Disaster response group renews commitment to do rescue work in emergencies
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – A communication group of 100 chapter volunteers in the country has renewed commitment to be of service 24/7 during emergencies arising from disasters.
“We will continue with our close coordination with the authorities concerning natural and made-made calamities to ensure instant relief and rehabilitation to affected individuals,” said Florencio Matus Jr., newly installed national president of the Radio Emergency Communication Operations Network (RECON).
During its three-day national convention (April 25-27) held here, Matus said the choice of site was meant to ease doubts and suspicion of a stereo-typed troubled area, a provisional seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, known for kidnapping, bombing, and other lawless activities in the past.
As host organization, Recon chapter president Ramil Masukat urged continued vigilance in reporting accidents, violence, fire, and other untoward incidents and calamities for prompt action to these emergencies.
Masukat, who also heads the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, said the task of attending to people in distress has been complemented lately with the creation by the autonomous government of the ARMM Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (HEART) that got the support of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) that helped last week in restoring the lives of people displaced in the Basilan skirmishes.
“We take it upon ourselves to be ready and prepared to confront lawlessness and other unforeseen wrath of nature, like flashfloods, earthquakes and landslides,” said ARMM Vice Gov. Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman Jr.
He recalled the 1976 tremor here that triggered a tsunami that left some 1,000 civilians dead.
“This catastrophe and others that followed should awaken us to strengthen volunteerism and be able to provide assistance to the affected,” said Lucman recalling the havoc and death toll left behind by typhoons that hit Mindanao.
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