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Police set for disaster response

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By Martin Sadongdong

With the official start of the rainy season, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has alerted its 190,000-strong personnel for disaster preparedness and potential disaster response efforts across the country.

Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Philippines is located within the “Pacific Ring of Fire” which makes it vulnerable to disasters, particularly earthquakes.

Relatedly, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration announced over the weekend the official start of the rainy season.

READ MORE: Pagasa officially declares rainy season

“We have prepared our personnel for disaster response,” PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde said.

Moreover, the PNP Chief noted that they have acquired rubber boats which, most of it, were donated by different local government units (LGUs).

“We have additional rubber boats, some of which were donated by the LGUs,” he said.

The PNP has under its maritime fleet over 150 police rubber boats, coastal craft, fast boats, speed boats and gun boats or dauntless boats.

Albayalde has said these watercraft are used by the 17 regional maritime units, three maritime special operations units and other police maritime police stations nationwide.

To boost the national police’s capability, the PNP Bids and Awards Committee had approved the procurement of 28 units of high-speed tactical watercrafts worth P336 million for public safety operations.

“We are also preparing for the conduct of trainings for our personnel on search and rescue operations,” Albayalde said.

The PNP has various disaster response-capable units including the elite Special Action Force (SAF), the Maritime Group (MG), Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Police Community Relations Group (PCRG), and Regional Public Safety Battalions (RPSB) among others.

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