100-man Team Albay humanitarian mission rolls off Thursday night for Casiguran, Aurora

Team Albay members

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 22 (PNA) -- Well-wishing Albayanos will send off the 100-man Team Albay humanitarian mission at the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) Operation Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The humanitarian mission, Team Albay's 14th, is bound for Casiguran, Aurora which suffered much from the wrath of Typhoon "Lando".

The send-off activity will be led by Dr. Cedric Daep and Regional Director Raffy Alejandro of the Office of Civil Defense-Bicol because Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda is in Pampanga for the meeting of the various Regional Developments Councils all over the country.

Before the send-off program, Daep will give a final briefing for the team.

He said the mission's convoy is composed of more that 10 vehicles and is expected to reach its target destination in 16 hours.

The group will temporarily rest in the Aurora State University before proceeding to the Casiguran town proper. The Team Albay humanitarian mission will last for ten days and will return to Albay on Oct. 31, before the All Saints' Day. The group is bringing along with them water filtration machine, water lory, medical supplies and equipment, trucks and other vehicles.

It is divided into three sub-groups: the water and sanitation, medical and logistics. The water and sanitation unit is composed of 58 members and headed by engineer Dante Baclao of the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO).

Of the 58, 14 are from the PEO, 14 from the Provincial Health Office (PHO), 6 from the General Services Office, 2 from the Bureau of Fire Protection and 22 from the Armed Forces of the Philippines -- 8 from the Philippine Army, 8 from the Philippine Air Force and 6 from the Philippine Navy.

The medical team is composed of 14 volunteers from the PHO and 10 from the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital. The logistics sub-group will be headed by the APSEMO, supported by 4 from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, 2 from the OCD, 4 from Barangay Oro Site and 4 from media.

Daep said the Team Albay has chosen Casiguran, Aurora because it needs more the services of a humanitarian mission as a result of the devastation caused by Lando.

It was also requested by the Province of Aurora, he said.

The APSEMO chief underscored the importance of the Team Albay mission.

First, he said, it is in accordance with the provision of RA 10121 or the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Law. "We are compliant with the provision under the new law that the local government unit may assist another LGUs hit by calamities for as long as they place their area under a state of calamity," Daep said.

Second, he added, the Team Albay is implementing the inter- complimentary effort strategies.

He mentioned the third as the desire of the team to help other LGUs that have a different experience from Albay, saying that this will strengthen the capability of the province, particularly in the aspect of DRRM strategies.

Lastly, Daep said, the collaboration and coordination of Team Albay with other government agencies aims to further strengthen the teamwork in the province at any time, whether during emergency, calamity or ordinary times. (PNA)