The Philippine Navy (PN) accommodated close to 500 locally stranded individuals (LSIs) in Metro Manila who are awaiting the availability of any mode of transportation to their respective provinces in the Visayas Region.
The PN landing dock BRP Davao Del Sur (LD 602) fresh from its five-month Middle East deployment will depart Pier 13 South Harbor Manila on June 22 to transport approximately 450 LSIs to the ports of Iloilo and Cebu.
Prior boarding LD 602 these LSIs underwent strict medical screening and COVID-19 rapid testing in Pasay City in coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases under Special Concerns and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Health Service Command assisted by the Chief Surgeon Navy personnel.
Six AFP vehicles were utilized to transport the already processed LSIs from Villamor Golf Club in Pasay City to South Harbor Manila. Upon arrival the LSIs were carefully guided through registration and body temperature checking site while their baggage were carefully inspected before being loaded at the Navy vessel. A shipboard briefing was conducted to these stranded individuals prior proceeding to their billeting area.
LD 602 commanding officer Capt Homer Gonzalez assured that the ship is mission ready to travel and that the passengers will be safe as long as it follows the dos and donts of the vessel. “It will be a 30-hour journey for our LSIs. We will ensure that it will be a safe and convenient travel for them” he said.
Meanwhile, the PN Flag Officer In Command Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo considered this humanitarian mission to “have the biggest number of LSIs transported in a single voyage by a Navy vessel so far.”
He then vowed to devote PN personnel and assets in order to alleviate the sufferings of our countrymen during these trying times saying “Your Philippine Navy will continue to exert tremendous efforts in providing support to our fellow Filipinos who are at most risk of the challenges brought by this pandemic.”
LD602 also carries much-needed 2508 boxes of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and medical supplies intended for the frontliners in the Visayas region. This will be transported to the Office of Civil Defense hub in Cebu.
This COVID-19 undertaking conducted by the Philippine Navy demonstrates the holistic brand of service the PN can render to our fellow Filipinos especially in this time of unprecedented global pandemic. NAVY.MIL.PH