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SENATE HONORS FALLEN BULACAN RESCUERS

The Senate honored the lives of five rescuers who perished while responding to flood-hit villages in San Miguel, Bulacan at the height of Typhoon Karding (international name “Noru”).

The Senate adopted Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 233, filed by Senator Bong Revilla, in consideration of SRNs 234, 235, 238, 240, and 241 filed by Senator Robin Padilla, Senator Lito Lapid, Senate President Migz Zubiri, Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and Senator Imee Marcos, respectively.

The resolutions honored the “exemplary heroism and bravery” of five members of Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) who died in the line of duty during the onslaught of “Karding” on September 25, 2022.

At the height of the super typhoon, the PDRRMO conducted a rescue mission in Barangay Camias, San Miguel, Bulacan, which led to the tragic death of Narciso Calayag Jr., Jerson Resurreccion, Marby Bartolome, George Agustin, and Troy Justin Agustin.

The five were helping residents of Sitio Galas evacuate their homes amid flooding caused by the typhoon.

Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando, in a television interview, said that the five rescuers were forced to take lifeboats after their rescue truck stalled. Reports indicated the five died after a surge of floodwater caused a concrete wall to collapse and brought a strong water current that swept away the team aboard a lifeboat.

The remains of the five were retrieved at Sitio Banga-Banga in Barangay Camias.

“Whereas, the Senate of the Philippines expresses its profound condolences to the bereaved families and loved ones of the five Bulacan PDRRMO rescuers,” SRN 233 stated.

“We continue to recognize and acknowledge the extraordinary bravery and commitment of those in the frontlines of rescue missions during calamities as they continue to fulfill their duties in the face of death.”

“We continue to recognize and acknowledge the extraordinary bravery and commitment of those on the frontlines of rescue missions during calamities as they continue to fulfill their duties in the face of death,” Revilla said.

The veteran legislator said one of his priority measures is to strengthen the institutional capacity of local government units (LGUs) in times of emergency situations and rescue operations.

“I filed Senate Bill No. 686, which seeks to assign a permanent Disaster Risk Officer, with corresponding benefits and allowances, in each LGU to complement the mandate of Republic Act No. 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010. Through this measure, we can expect that our LGUs will be more proactive, dynamic, and efficient, given the institutionalized mechanisms that this bill aims to achieve,” the seasoned lawmaker said.

Padilla, in his resolution, said the heroism and bravery shown by the rescuers, “who sacrificed their lives to save their people, is an exemplary act worthy of praise and emulation and more importantly, an embodiment of dedication, courage, devotion to duty and commitment to public service.”

“The five rescuers acted with incredible bravery and self-sacrifice and went above and beyond the call of duty to save the lives of others at the cost of their own.”

Villanueva said the five rescuers “acted with incredible bravery and self-sacrifice and went above and beyond the call of duty to save the lives of others at the cost of their own.”

“They were veteran rescuers who have also helped other local governments throughout the country in previous calamities and disasters,” the veteran legislator added.

Zubiri, for his part, said the Senate of the Philippines is one with the families and loved ones of the rescuers “in commemorating their heroism and selfless sacrifice of putting their lives on the line in ensuring the safety of the greater good.”

Lapid, meanwhile, said the courage, bravery, humanitarian spirit, and selflessness of the five “should be held in the highest regard, paying the ultimate sacrifice in the name of duty.”

“Together with the other members of our rescue forces who have perished or survived, but who all risk their lives to save their fellow men deserve all the accolades the Filipino nation can offer,” the veteran legislator said in his resolution.

“Their heroism embodies their love of country and love of their people, and their noble expression of valor and gallantry serve as an inspiration to their comrades not only in the field of rescue but also in the field of service to the people,” the seasoned lawmaker also said.

All senators were made co-authors of the resolution.

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