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Team EMSBN on the “ONDOY” Operation
September 2009, Marikina Area - Disaster Relief and Clearing Operation – it is one of the most vital functions of the unit that keeps every personnel to roll their sleeves on. Exactly when “ondoy” came to wave his fingers all throughout the affected areas in Metro Manila, the Engineer Maintenance and Support Battalion never hesitated to offer its support. All the mufflers never stopped blowing combustion as personnel overstressed a 24-hour rescue operations scattered around the AOR. The Support Company (SPTC) and the Engineer Maintenance Company, under the leadership of 1LT ROY C TAPAT (CE) PA, all the machines were set on full throttle.
With the mutual coordination of the US Navy Marine Corps, under the leadership of LT COL FERDINAND LLANTERO, US Marine Attache, Embassy of United States of America, the operation underwent a simultaneous and fast phase since the situation needed a severe assistance in Marikina, Pasig and part of CAMANAVA affected areas. This unit became the Disaster Relief Center during the calamity. The center performed well in accordance with the National Development and Support Command (NDSC) and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) in disaster monitoring. It catered all the voluntary donations of relief goods from concerned organizations and individuals to be distributed on designated areas. On 24-hour basis, the committee closely monitored all the activities of each deployed rescue team. Under the leadership of the Headquarters Company Commander (and the acting Operations Officer during the calamity), CPT JESSIE ROSE B AUSTRIA (CE) PA, all the requirements were met with absolute order.
Due to the demands of the operation, this unit has upgraded its rescue equipment (rubber boat facilities) for amphibious rescue activities. The said equipment was efficiently utilized during the operations since the Marikina River had widened its water area crossing along the vast city. The Special Project Company (SPC) under the leadership of the SPC Commander, CPT BOBBY A RICO (CE) PA, exerted much time and effort to bring the responds to meet the needs of the affected civilians in the area.
The calamity, though extremely harsh as it struck, has eventually set the unit’s peak performance in support operations. The effectiveness brought about by the training, experience and professionalism of each and every member of the Engineer Maintenance and Support Battalion, was exceedingly tested beyond expected. It was then the time when this unit has proven its quality to be a team with pure stability under extreme pressure.