Army reservists from the 401st and 402nd Ready Reserve Infantry Battalions of the 4th Regional Community Defense Group, Army Reserve Command were among the first responders during the height of Taal Volcano eruption that started on Sunday, January 12, 2020.
Currently, there are 277 reservists on the ground, and more are expected to report as reservists from Batangas and Cavite who were also victims of the calamity were able to ensure the safety of their own families.
The 401st Ready Reserve Battalion’s area of responsibility is Batangas while the 402nd Ready Reserve Battalion covers Cavite. In their respective areas, the reservists were able to serve as force multipliers of the Philippine Army in delivering Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) to the victims of the calamity.
Members of the 403rd Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion in Laguna has now been augmented to help in the HADR efforts in the areas gravely affected by the volcanic eruption.
“Even before the eruption of Taal Volcano on Sunday afternoon, we already have reservists on the ground monitoring the situation. So as soon the evacuation efforts started, our reservists were able to immediately provide their assistance,” said Lt. Col. Ruperto B. Chua (Res), Commander of 401st Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion.
The Army reserve force helped in the evacuation efforts by providing manpower and transportation support. They also assisted in crowd control in evacuation centers and helped the local government units and local agencies in the distribution of relief goods.
“The members of the Army reserve force are regularly trained in HADR that prepared us to act in this situation. The same training is also given to students of Reserve Officers Training Course. I encourage the youth to take ROTC not only so they can serve in the future but also so they can protect themselves and their families in times of calamities like this,” Chua added. PHILIPPINE ARMY