The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. will deploy a contingent that will conduct search, rescue, relief and other assistance to Turkey, which was hit by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Monday.
In an interview with the press after his attendance to the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) national tax campaign kickoff, President Marcos said the Philippine contingent will depart for Turkey on February 8.
“We have organized a group of about 85 personnel together with some goods… Ang hinahanap sa atin ay mga blanket, mga winter clothing dahil siyempre ‘yung mga nasiraan ng bahay sa Turkey ay wala na silang matirahan. They’re exposed so they need all of these things,” the President said.
“So we are organizing it already and I already have the assurance also of the Turkish [Airlines] that they will be the ones to bring our people and our equipment and our goods to, I suppose, to Ankara first and then to be distributed properly in Turkey,” the President pointed out.
The Philippine government will also send engineers and health workers and provide other necessary assistance to the victims of the powerful quake.
“So lahat, ‘yung engineering, mayroong pinapadala tayong mga engineer, mayroon tayong pinapadalang health workers, and of course the goods that we feel that they will need,” the President said.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) have already mobilized the Philippine search and rescue contingent.
The contingent will be coming from the OCD, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Army, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), among others.
Personnel from the MMDA and DOH already experienced previous foreign deployments in Japan and Haiti, which have also been rocked by powerful earthquakes.
The Turkish Embassy in Manila has earlier sought assistance in the form of emergency medical and urban search and rescue teams.
President Marcos earlier offered thoughts, prayers, and assistance to Turkey and Syria after hundreds of people were killed in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck both sides of the border on Monday.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to the peoples and governments of Türkiye and Syria following the strong earthquake that has claimed many lives and caused massive destruction to their countries,” the President said.
“The Philippines is ready to help in whatever way it can in responding to this disaster,” the chief executive added.
Reports showed that the 7.8 magnitude earthquake was Turkey’s most severe earthquake since 1999. #