MMDA deploys 12-man team to Turkey

A 12-man team from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will join the Philippine humanitarian contingent to Turkey which was devastated by a 7.8 magnitude quake on Monday, Feb. 6.

MMDA chairman Romando Artes said their team is well-trained and has an extensive experience in disaster response, having been deployed in rescue and retrieval operations in Bohol and Pampanga which were hit by strong quakes in 2013 and 2019 and even in Nepal in 2015.

photo: MMDA

"They will bring their experiences to Turkey to contribute support to its disaster response efforts and to express solidarity with the international community. We, the MMDA family, wish our team a safe journey. The country is proud of all of you for this heroic deed," said Artes during the send-off ceremony.

"We are in close coordination with the OCD for the transport, logistics requirements, and other preparations necessary for assistance to the earthquake-hit country," he added.

The deployment of Philippine contingent to Turkey was in response to the request of the Turkish Ambassador to the Philippines after a destructive quake jolted the country.

Thousands of people died and thousands more were injured across Turkey and Syria from the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years.


The Philippine team is composed of disaster response experts from the Office of the Civil Defense, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Army, and the Philippine Air Force (PAF), MMDA and other agencies.

The Philippine contingent will be transported by Turkish Airlines at no cost.

Artes said the MMDA will also provide the team's winter clothes to keep them warm as the temperature in Turkey is at four degrees Celsius.

photo: MMDA

"The team will stay for an undetermined number of days in Southern Turkey near the Syrian border to assist in the ongoing rescue operations in earthquake affected areas and will bring with them portable search and rescue tools such as life locator and v-strut which can locate victims under rubble of collapsed structures," said Artes.

"This mission will be a valuable experience for the team as they will be working alongside rescuers from other countries. The agency, according to Artes, is continuously increasing its capabilities in preparation for the Big One," he added.