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The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) have unveiled the First “OCD-NDRRMC Humanitarian Response Depot" in Clark, Pampanga.
The facility is one of the various initiatives implemented by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), thru the Local Government Academy (LGA), to enhance the capacities of the OCD and the NDRRMC in the delivery and response action in relief operations.
The refurbished Philippine Air Force warehouse at the Air Force City in Clark is the first of the six storage facilities to be established in strategic areas in the country. For its part, AECID donated Php 26.4 Million for the purchase of a large list of humanitarian equipment. Managed by the OCD and NDRRMC, the facility can now serve as the primary coordination hub during large-scale emergencies, relief operations and pre-positioning of humanitarian supplies.
Held on March 25, 2014, the inauguration of the facility was graced by the Spanish Foreign Minister His Excellency Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo together with Hon. Voltaire T. Gazmin, Secretary of the Department of National Defense and NDRRMC Chairman; Hon. Austere A. Panadero, DILG Undersecretary; Hon. Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Secretary DSWD; and Hon. Enrique Ona, Secretary DOH. Also present were: Dir. Florida M. Dijan, DILG R3; Exec. Dir. Marivel C. Sacendoncillo, LGA; Dir. Josefina Timoteo, OCD 3; and Dir. Adelina Apostol, DSWD FU3. On the part of the beneficiary LGUs, the Provincial Government of Nueva Ecija headed by Governor Aurelio M. Umali and the City/Municipal Mayors of its component LGUs also attended the activity.
Delivering the message of the SILG, Usec. Panadero mentioned the shared vision of the Department and the Spanish Government in enhancing the capacities of Local Government Units in responding to disasters and mitigating their effects. He also made mention of a number of testimonies and the gratitude of beneficiaries in the Province of Nueva Ecija saying that the financial assistance granted by AECID played a vital role in uplifting their lives and enabling them to recover from the devastations of the past disasters that hit their province.
“On behalf of the province of Nueva Ecija and the rest of the Philippines, maraming, maraming salamat po” USEC. Panadero said in expressing his heartfelt gratitude to the Spanish Government.
On the other hand, Foreign Minister Margallo said that he prays that no natural calamities will hit the Philippines soon, but if in case there will be, he assured the Philippine Government that the Spanish Government will always be by its side.