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USAID provides support to CRDRRMC on forest fire suppression

BAGUIO CITY(PIA) -- The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) got a boost in their continuing efforts to address the forest fires happening in the region.

The CDRRMC  led by its chairperson, Office of Civil Defense -CAR Regional Director Albert Mogol, warmly welcomed a team from  the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to Baguio City  on Feb. 27,   who came to provide  technical assistance to concerned agencies in  combatting  forest fires that have been occurring in the region. More that 60 incidents of forest and grassland fires have been monitored in the region  since the start of the year.

The USAID team composed of Rachel Galagher, Robb Chapman, and Ben Hemingway met with Mogol, Bureau of Fire Protection   Regional Director FSSupt. Robert Pacis, Benguet Provincial Fire Marshal FSUPT Jessie Annasiw, Benguet Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Ed Flor, and Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group 1 TSG Jake Belino  first met to  discuss possible assistance from the US Government in addressing the massive forest fires in the Cordillera region.

“We solicited the assistance of our partners from the USAID to look into how they could provide support to combat the on gong forest fires in the region, as well as the prevention measures. The USAID team is expected to provide support in equipping our fire fighters and volunteers more knowledge in forest fire suppression as they are experts in combating wild fires back in the United States and in Canada,” Mogol said during the meeting.

The OCD, BFP, DENR,  and PENRO provided a briefing on the status of the forest fires including  the extent of damages and the current actions being undertaken by the different offices, operatives and volunteers.

A mission briefing was also provided by the TOG 1 to the USAID team to assess the response operations and strategize the implementation of heli bucket operations being undertaken by the PAF 505th Search and Rescue group along with the TOG 1 and other partners.

The USAID team and the CDRRMC group  then visited   the affected areas  of a forest fire near the relay stations at the Mount Santo Tomas in Tuba, Benguet, as well as  the different sites of forest fires in the province  to look into the situation and peculiarity of each  incident.

CRDRRMC Briefing with the USAID Team at the OCD-CAR Regional Office in Baguio City

The assessment of the affected areas will be helpful  in  their planning and implementation of strategies in the fire prevention and suppression.

During the conference on Feb. 29, the OCD reported that  USAID team provided an overview of their  findings and recommendation and  proposed plans for forest fire prevention and suppression strategies in the area.

Mogol conveyed his appreciation to the USAID team for their proactive involvement and assistance in delivering essential training and practical guidance.

The Cordillera RDRRMC members also thanked the USAID team for providing technical assistance and for establishing possible linkage in addressing resource scarcity such as firefighting equipment and capacity building of stakeholders, according to OCD.

Before the USAID team  came to  Baguio CIty, an online coordination meeting was conducted by the OCD Central Office and the National DRRMC  led by Asec. Hernando Caraig with the USAID Team, which was attended by officers   of the AFP, BFP, and the OCD-CAR.(JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)

Earlier, an online coordination meeting was conducted by the OCD Central Office and the National DRRMC the led by Asec. Hernando Caraig with the USAID Team which was attended by the reps of the AFP, BFP, and the OCD-CAR. RMC PIA-CAR

Site visit of the CRDRRMC and the USAID Team at the fire affected areas in Mount Santo Toms, Tuba, Benguet (BFP-CAR photos)

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Redjie Melvic Cawis



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