Cops ordered to maximize assistance in road-clearing, disaster response

Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), ordered on Tuesday, Nov. 1, all police units in areas severely affected by tropical storm "Paeng" to assist in road clearing and in responding to the needs of the civilians, particularly those who were displaced from their homes.

At the same time, Azurin tasked commanders in areas that were forecasted to experience heavy rains due to tropical storm "Queenie", especially in some areas in Mindanao.

"Local PNP units are under instructions to provide necessary security and assistance to government health, aid, and public works personnel in disaster-stricken areas," said Azurin.

"Likewise, resources and personnel of disaster response-capable National Support Units are instructed to augment affected PROs (Police Regional Offices) for disaster response operations in coordination with local DRRMO (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office), LGUs (local government units), and other government agencies," he added.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 1, a number of policemen were already deployed and were tasked to secure evacuation centers, help in road clearing operations, securing evacuated communities, and aid distributions to distressed civilians.

He said Police Regional Offices were also instructed to keep all highways and major thoroughfares clear of debris and hazards for unhampered passage of emergency vehicles, personnel, equipment, relief supplies, and commercial cargo.