By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Recognizing that guns are not much of a help during disaster response operations, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Cordillera invested in the procurement of equipment and training of police officers for disaster management and response.
Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCor) Regional Director Benjamin Magalong bared during the weekly Kapihan that PROCor is 4,010 strong, a big manpower for disaster response but not properly equipped. So the PROCOr invested P600, 000 for the putting together of a blue box and training of PNP personnel for disaster response and management.
“We learned from our past experiences,” he said. He shared that in the past even when police officers are the first to arrive at the disaster area, they could not respond properly because they only have their guns. He added that they would borrow tools from nearby houses or wait for other rescue operatives with proper equipment.
Magalong explained that the blue box contains substantial basic tools and equipment for disaster response. He said it contains earth moving tools like shovel, pick axes and the like. He added that it also contains basic life support equipment.
The regional director said there are already 45 blue boxes and each box costs P27,000. He mentioned that some blue boxes are stationed at the PROCor headquarters in Camp Bado and Dangwa others are already distributed to the provincial headquarters and mobile security group. He also said that they are still looking for additional funds to be able to provide all municipal police offices with at least one blue box each.
Magalong also said the blue box is a downgraded version of Marikina City’s yellow box. He explained that the yellow box contains P45,000 worth of disaster response and management equipment. “We could not afford it (yellow box) so we reduced but still the content of the blue box is substantial,” he stressed. # nordis.net