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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsCommander, EastMinCom awards hero reservists in Typhoon Odette-hit Dinagat

Commander, EastMinCom awards hero reservists in Typhoon Odette-hit Dinagat

NFSA, Panacan, Davao City – Six months after Super Typhoon Odette hit the Province of Dinagat Islands last December 2021, LtGen. Greg T. Almerol, the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), was back in the area to award deserving Army Reservists as responders during and after the natural calamity through an Awarding Ceremony at the Provincial Capitol, San Jose, Dinagat Islands on July 4.

The ceremony was in line with the week-long “People’s Fair Event” of the Provincial Local Government Unit (LGU) of Dinagat Islands, where EastMinCom also deployed medical teams to provide free medical consultations to the Dinagatnons.

Attending the ceremony were Maj. Nilo P. Demerey Jr. (Res), newly elected Dinagat Provincial Governor and the Acting Battalion Commander of the 1505th Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion (RRIBn), BGen. George L. Banzon, 901st Infantry Brigade Commander, Col. Diosdado E. Peji, 15th Regional Community Defense Group (RCDG) Commander, and PCol. Dennis A. Siruno, Dinagat Islands Provincial Police Office Director.

During the program, LtGen. Almerol awarded Bronze Cross Medals to 12 members of the 15th Regional Community Defense Group (RCDG), Reserve Command, Philippine Army “for their acts of heroism involving the risk of life during the search and rescue operations in the Province of Dinagat Islands in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Odette.”

The awardees were LtCol. Ma. Teresa P. Baylon (Res), Maj. Nilo P. Demerey Jr. (Res), Maj. Fe Consuelo C. Botanas (Res), 2Lt. Dennis C. Maregmen, 2Lt. Neil P. Rosillo (Res), MSg. Leonardo A. Samson (Res), MSg. Herald C. Eder, SSg. Ferdinand E. Mandar, Sgt. Jecilyen C. Espinile (Res), Sgt. Sheila O. Peji (Res), Cpl. Shiela A. Butiong (Res), and Pfc. Ethel Joy C. Pielago (Res).

“To the awardees, most especially to the Acting Battalion Commander Maj. Demerey and his staff, we thank you for taking the lead. May this simple recognition strengthen our resolve to provide basic services and primary needs of our constituents for the realization of peace and development in our area,” LtGen. Almerol expressed during his message.

He also emphasized that the Military Reservists boosted the much-needed resources during the conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations, especially with the deployment of Joint Task Force (JTF) Sambisig in the Caraga Region and Dinagat province.

It can be recalled that EastMinCom, through the initiative of LtGen. Almerol activated and deployed JTF Sambisig as the Command’s disaster response focused unit, last December 2021 to oversee the HADR operations in the said areas following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Odette.

He likewise commended the timely implementation of a Basic Citizen Military Training and Organizational Training organized by the 15RCDG and 1505RRIBn for the 270 Citizen Army Soldiers of Dinagat Island Reserve Force, which were utilized and mobilized during the onslaught of the typhoon.

The EastMinCom Commander stressed this as an example as he encouraged the newly-minted officials of the Dinagat Islands to conduct Disaster Resiliency and Mitigation efforts to prevent the same or heavier casualties in case another disaster hits the province.

“With the recent effects and impact made by Typhoon Odette and with the new mandate of our esteemed Provincial Government Officials of Dinagat Islands, it is our fervent hope that Disaster Resiliency and Mitigation efforts will be considered to better prepare our constituents for future eventualities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Nilo P. Demerey Jr. thanked the EastMinCom under the leadership of LtGen. Almerol for providing various assistance to his province, which helped in their steady recovery.

“The Eastern Mindanao Command, during and after Typhoon Odette, has given us a lot of help. From sending the Black Hawk helicopters to deliver relief goods to far-flung barangays, augmentation of an Engineering Unit for rehabilitation efforts, and sending Navy troops and vessels to give medical assistance to our islands through the BRP Ang Pangulo. LtGen. Almerol also came to give us logs for the rebuilding of our damaged homes,” he said.

“As the Governor of Dinagat Islands, we appreciate what the Eastern Mindanao Command gave us during and after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette,” Gov. Demerey added.

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