Christmas gathering of troops, saves resources for relief operations
in Leyte island
DPAO, 8ID PA
December 19, 2021
CATBALOGAN CITY –
8th Infantry Division Commander Maj Gen Edgardo De Leon implemented
a directive of AFP leadership to cancel Christmas get-together to
commiserate with public abstention from holiday revelry amid
"Earlier, our higher
headquarters directed us to abstain from holding of unit Christmas
party due to the COVID 19 pandemic. As we now send our troops to
help in relief operations to areas affected by Typhoon Odette,
particularly in the provinces of Leyte and Southern Leyte, the food
and other resources we originally set aside for Christmas party will
instead be repurposed to support our troops on relief operations
mission" said Gen De Leon.
The AFP’s JTF Storm
comprising of Army’s 8ID and 546 Engr Bn; PAF’s TOG8; PN’s Naval
Task Group 2 has initiated a project to generate assistance to
affected residents of Southern Leyte and Leyte to be dubbed as TF
Bulig Southern Leyte and Leyte (TF Bulig) for a “whole of region”
The AFP units will provide
manpower, sea, air, and land transportation to help in the
collection, transport, and distribution of donations for SLL. "We
can provide personnel and transport assets, but we would like to
solicit relief goods from volunteers such as 20-liter containers
with potable water, food, cooking kits, hygiene kits, toiletries and
first aid kits. I personally saw the situation of our constituents
in Southern Leyte and Leyte. They are in need of immediate help and
assistance" De Leon added.
Incidentally, 142 trainees
were enlisted as new Privates in 8ID today after completing their
Basic Military Training. The first task issued by MGen De Leon to
them is to join the relief operations, setting aside their
traditional “training leave” due to the exigency of the service of
rendering humanitarian assistance and disaster response to typhoon
Cpt Ryan Layug clarified that "Christmas and New Year shall still be
celebrated by our soldiers, but it would be primarily with their
family and love ones. Only the traditional unit party was cancelled.
The resources we set aside for the parties will instead be used for
humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations".
"Our efforts shall be
limited to augmenting the efforts of the Office of Civil Defense
following the Regional Disaster and Risk Reduction Management system
of the region. The Office of Civil Defense 8 shall spearhead this
effort." Layug added.
General De Leon on his
message "our responders in Region 8 are themselves affected and in
need of assistance along with the communities. We are in need of
assistance from other regions and provinces. We are appealing for
food; water; other basic household needs; as well as roofing and
carpentry materials to repair damaged roofs. The AFP shall mobilize,
deliver goods and help in the repair of shelters, to enliven the
Filipino tradition of bayanihan."
December 15, 2021 prior
landfall of typhoon Odette, all of 8ID Brigades and Battalions were
already in touch and have meetings with local DRRMCs. 8ID issued Red
Alert to all its units.