Notice: Undefined variable: the_output in /home/thefiloz/public_html/blogs/wp-content/plugins/dd-posts-by-author.php on line 292
By Josie (Pines) Cervantes-Musa
T’was a beautiful day when the USNS MERCY hospital ship arrived in the international port of Legaspi City (Albay Gulf) in the Bicol Region, Philippines, for a humanitarian mission under the 2016 Pacific Partnership Program.
The Mayon volcano also showed off an amazing view of its perfect cone despite little bit of clouds, in the morning of June 27 when the state-of-the-art hospital ship arrived.
The humanitarian medical mission will treat from 27 June to 11 July about 2,000 to 3,000 patients coming from all parts of the Bicol Region and neighbouring areas.
Brig. General Claudio Yucot, commanding officer of the Army’s 901st Infantry Brigade (IB) mentioned in earlier reports that the US forces movement will be limited only to the humanitarian mission and visiting to remarkable tourists spots of Albay.
Over 1,000 US troops are now in Albay (Legaspi City) for the Pacific Partnership engagement to provide humanitarian assistance and to learn disaster management approach with their Filipino counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other disaster responders in the provincial government.
Being an Albayana myself and former Lecturer in Bicol University, I was so proud to know that the USS MERCY is back in the province as I was once involved as one of the volunteers when this ship did the same mission over 29 years ago.
The commanding officer in March 1987 Legaspi City visit was US Navy Captain Peter F. Roberts, MC. The mission was also to provide humanitarian support following super typhoon Sisang (international codename Nina).
This year Albay is again the recipient of the US Armed Forces humanitarian team in partnership with the AFP upon the request of the Philippine government, as part of the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty.
Pacific Partnership 2016 program includes medical mission, engineering and disaster response. The US Forces’ engineering brigade will construct a school building along with soldiers of AFP in the towns of Daraga and Camalig.
The program is a multilateral, disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region which aims to bring partner nations together to prepare in a time of calm so they can effectively respond when a crisis or natural disaster takes place.
Now on its 11th year, Pacific Partnership 2016 will conduct stops in Timor Leste, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Palau, with partners from around the Pacific – including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The United States Navy’s hospital ship USS MERCY visit not only provides humanitarian assistance to impoverished families and share its staff expertise in disaster management but it also brings hope and happiness to all Bicolanos.
On behalf of the Bicolanos in Australia, my sincere thanks to the Albay provincial government headed by Governor of Albay Joey Sarte Salceda, and the people behind the 2016 Pacific Partnership program.
I would like also to mention our friends in Albay, Mr. Wilson Sia, who provided us the information and photos.
Mabalos tabi na daculaon saimo. Daculang urgullo asin kaogmahan ini kan mga Bicolnon digdi sa Sydney!.
Mabalos saindo gabos!