Army lends hand to disaster-stricken province

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CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – In addition to their commitment to serve the people and secure the land, troops from the 601st Infantry Brigade, which is made up of the 7th Infantry ‘Tapat’ Battalion, Joint Task Force – Talakudong, and the 5th Special Forces Battalion, have stepped up their humanitarian efforts in collaboration with the local disaster team of the Municipality of Isulan to rescue and assist hundreds of families to safer grounds.

The families were impacted by flash floods caused by tropical storm ‘Dante’ on May 30, 2021, which wreaked havoc on the low-lying districts of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

The composite teams from units under the 601st Brigade conducted search and rescue operations in flooded areas of Isulan, according to Lieutenant Colonel Rommel Valencia, Commanding Officer of 7IB. They also provided transportation assistance during the evacuation of the affected residents.

“After their houses were flooded, our troops took the elderly, physically challenged, children, and others who were sick,” Lt. Col. Valencia stated.

Tropical storm ‘Dante’ delivered heavy rainfall, causing the Kapingkong River to overflow, flooding Sitio Upper Villa Rica and Bagong Silang, both in Barangay Sampao in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) reports that the flooding has affected a total of 161 families, or 604 people. The Isulan’s evacuation center in Sultan Kudarat is temporarily housing the evacuated families.

“Our troops are always ready to help our countrymen in this time of disaster,” said Brigadier General Roy Galido, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade. “We mobilised the available assets to help the inhabitants who were affected by the floods.”

Major General Juvymax R. Uy, Commander, 6ID and Joint Task Force Central, commended the soldiers’ quick response and assistance to the Sultan Kudarat residents.

“It is our job as soldiers to serve our countrymen in whatever situation,” MGen. Uy said, adding that soldiers are trained not only in warfighting but also in humanitarian aid and disaster response operations to save lives and help those in need.

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