Guv honors emergency responders

IMG_1359Some 35 emergency responders to the fatal ship collision accident in Talisay City received certificates of recognition from the provincial government last Wednesday, September 25 at the Capitol Social Hall.

“You are a credit to the human race,” said Governor Hilario P. Davide III, in thanking the volunteers for responding immediately after the incident.

He added, “I saw for myself how united we were, how our efforts resulted in this affair this afternoon.”

The awardees, who volunteered to help in the search and rescue operation, include 20 non-government organizations (NGOs), 11 government offices, and two individuals.

The NGOs are the Philippine Red Cross-Cebu and Lapu-Lapu Chapter, Central Visayas Search and Rescue, Inc., KabalikatCivicom, Accident Control and Emergency Rescue Team, 501st Air Force Reserve Command, Balamban Rescue, Talisay Rescue and Emergency Assistance Team, Rescue 160, Rescue 761, Philippine Coast Guard Auxilliary-Central Visayas, MS Boat Lapu-lapu City, All-Terrain Medical Relief Organization, Recon Clare 7, Talisay City Aquanauts, BasakPardo Emergency Response Team, AngLabangon, Emergency Response Team, Cebuano Amateur Radio League, Rescue 5, Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, BantayDagat-Cebu City and BantayDagat-Medellin.

For the government agencies, the volunteers are from the Philippine Coast Guard-District Central Visayas, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRMO), Talisay City DRRMO, Central Command-Armed Forces of the Philippines, Regional Public Safety Battalion-Philippine National Police (PNP), , Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7, Department of Health 7, Naval Forces Central, BFP-Talisay City, PNP-Regional Crime Laboratory Office 7, and the Capitol’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (ODRREM).

The two individuals are Christian Bernard Adlawan and Rolando E. Malinaw.

In an interview, Davide, who headed the Incident Management Team, mentioned that a certain fisherman was one of the awardees. He further said there are still countless others who helped in the search and rescue operation but they were unable to get their names.

They deserve to be given credit, even in just a simple ceremony, for risking their lives in order to save others, he said.

The volunteers helped in the search and rescue operation of the victims of the collision between a passenger ferry and a cargo vessel at Lawis Ledge, Talisay City in the evening of August 16.

The passenger ferry sank right after the collision that resulted to several fatalities. Of the 832 passengers and crew members of the MV Saint Thomas Aquinas, more than 700 survived, 116 are confirmed dead while twenty one of them are still missing until now. (Xerxes Alkuino)