The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Saturday that some 3,267 Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel were deployed to the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela where emergency operations are being conducted in the aftermath of typhoon “Ulysses’’.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año the PNP and BFP personnel are in direct coordination with the Philippine Coast Guard, Armed Forces, and local government unit (LGU) rescue teams in the affected areas of the provinces.
Año said the rescue teams sent by the DILG consisted of 1,087 police personnel and 920 police officers from the Reactionary Standby Support Force of Police Regional Office 2 based in Tuguegarao City.
“Another 1,260 BFP personnel deployed to all the LGUs of Region 2, together with 28 Emergency Medical Service and Special Rescue Unit personnel, have also been mobilized and are currently conducting disaster response operations,’’ said Año.
The DILG chief noted that “reserve contingents from other Police and Fire Regional Offices and PNP and BFP National Headquarters have also been mustered for rapid deployment.’’
In a report to the DILG, the Cagayan Provincial Government said 156 of 24 barangays in 29 areas in the province were flooded due to the onslaught of typhoon Ulysses.
As of 8 a.m. Friday, Año, in a text message, said there were 16 casualties and three injured from the 97,073 families or 343,202 affected individuals while 4,255 families or 13,954 individuals are in the evacuation centers in Cagayan province.
Año commended the PNP and the BFP “for a job well done in working closely with the LGUs in rescuing and evacuating some 163,532 families in Ulysses-affected areas in other parts of the country.’’
He added that 363 rescue teams composed of about 25,000 PNP officers and 10,147 BFP personnel were dispatched to all Luzon regions including the National Capital Region (NCR) to aid affected families and individuals.
“I commend our police and fire officers for their selfless and heroic acts of braving the floodwaters, doing search and rescue missing, monitoring landline-prone areas, and keeping evacuation centers orderly amid the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses. They did a good job in NCR and other regions, now they are doing it in Cagayan,” he added.
“The men and women of the LGUs, BFP, and PNP risked their lives to fulfill their sworn duties. Their deeds don’t usually make it to the media but their acts are testaments that they are working and caring for the people,” Año said.
In a report to the DILG, the PNP rescued and evacuated some 104,850 individuals while the BFP rescued and assisted 58,682 individuals.
“This was possible because the PNP and BFP personnel were already on red alert as early as November 11,’’ he explained.
Año explained that the local chief executives are the ones on top of the disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives in their respective areas of jurisdictions.
He noted that the local DRR teams composed of police, fire, and other members are automatically activated once a typhoon alert is issued by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
Año said the police and fire officers were already deployed to help the LGUs implement preemptive evacuation ahead of the typhoon’s landfall.
He said the PNP also secured 13,526 evacuation centers while the BFP monitored 1,861 evacuation centers across the country.
“Part of the deployed police equipment to various Ulysses-affected areas were rubber boats and trucks while the deployed fire equipment includes fire trucks, rescue/hazmat trucks, and ambulances,’’ he said.