Monday, April 13, 2020

More than 100 reservists volunteer for quarantine duties in Cebu

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 13, 2020): More than 100 reservists volunteer for quarantine duties in Cebu (By John Rey Saavedra)

QUARANTINE DUTIES. Reservists from the 701st Ready Reserve Battalion check the quarantine pass of a motorist in a checkpoint in Barangay Buaya, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on Palm Sunday (April 5, 2020). More than a hundred Army reservists from Cebu volunteered their time as quarantine control points augmentation force, personal protective equipment (PPE) production, and decontamination operation crew during the enhanced community quarantine in Cebu. (Photo courtesy of 1Lt Ronald Cabilles)

Instead of spending time with their families during the Holy Week, more than a hundred Army reservists rendered their services with the enhanced community quarantine in the province of Cebu.

Col. Ricky Bunayog, chief of the 7th Regional Community Defense Group (7RCDG), said 74 reservists from the 701st Ready Reserve Battalion, mostly under the first category (18 to 35 years old), volunteered for a 14-day tour of duty to man several quarantine control points.

At least 12 officers and enlisted reservists from the 1901st Ready Reserve Infantry Brigade also volunteered to serve as decontamination ready unit (DRU) crew of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas, he said.

The DRU is a stand-by unit composed of regular and reservists from Army and Navy, 53rd Engineer Brigade, 14th Civil Military Operations Battalion, Philippine Coast Guard, personnel from the Lapu-Lapu city government, Bureau of Quarantine, DOH-7 and OCD-7 that will be called to conduct decontamination operations in areas identified by quarantine and health authorities to be coronavirus disease (Covid-19) threatened areas.

The DRU crew underwent a three-day decontamination procedure training conducted by the OCD-7 at the social hall of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-7) here before listed in the on-call unit for decontamination needs in the region.

Also, 42 reservists from the 1901st were tapped to produce PPE gears to be used by health authorities in different hospitals and medical centers in Metro Cebu.

Lt. Col. Rowel Gavilanes, director of the Community Defense Center, said the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Toledo, as well as the municipalities of Minglanilla, San Fernando and Alegria, tapped reservists to man border quarantine control points, along with the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and regular members of the military.

“They (reservists) are doing good and very much willing to render their services. They were trained and briefed by the local government units that asked for their service and the PNP on the deployment procedure on Covid-19 checkpoints,” Gavilanes said.

The LGUs provided the reservists with PPE to protect themselves while manning checkpoints, Gavilanes added.

Dr. Antonio Esmero, a university professor and battalion commander of the Ready Reserve Battalion in Cebu, said the five LGUs sent their requests for reservists to the Central Command.

“Even during the Holy Week, our reservists spend their time for the service of the country. They volunteered as augmentation force for our existing regular military and PNP personnel,” Lt. Col. Esmero told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

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