PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde yesterday placed all Luzon-based PNP units under full alert to ensure availability of resources and personnel for possible disaster response operation in areas threatened by super typhoon “Ompong.”
Albayalde said effective 6 a.m. today, all PNP units assigned in Luzon will be on full alert status.
“I am placing all Luzon-based PNP Units on FULL ALERT condition to ensure availability of resources and personnel for possible disaster response operations in areas threatened by the destructive effects of super typhoon ‘Ompong,’ including other areas in Luzon that may experience torrential monsoon rains as a result,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde also activated the National Headquarters 1st Level Battle Staff to ensure effective Command and Control of all PNP disaster response operations.
Aside from Luzon-based PNP units, the chief PNP also placed the PNP-SAF, Maritime Group, Highway Patrol Group, Police Community Relations Group, Health Service, and all Regional and Provincial Mobile Forces on full alert to ensure their rapid availability for possible disaster response and rescue operations.
Resources and personnel from the said operational support and maneuver units with disaster response capability were prepositioned within closest and safest proximity to threatened and high-risk areas along coastlines, riverbanks and geo-hazard zones for rapid deployment in the event of contingency.
As part of the initial response in anticipation of the expected landfall of “Ompong,” PNP provincial, city and municipal offices and stations were instructed to undertake road clearing operations for debris, in coordination with LGUs and the DPWH, especially on national highways and major thoroughfares, to allow unhampered movement of emergency vehicles, troops, equipment, supplies and market commodities.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 may be raised over the Cagayan Valley Region as early as today or 36 hours prior to closest approach of the weather disturbance.
The Weather Bureau said widespread moderate to heavy rains directly associated with the “Ompong” will possibly start tomorrow over Northern Luzon, especially over the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, ILocos Norte and Batanes.
Albayalde called on the people residing on the mentioned areas to be on alert and heed the orders of authorities, particularly for preemptive evacuation that maybe enforced.
“We are calling on our people in affected areas to stay safe, alert and informed, and heed the orders of authorities particularly for preemptive evacuation that may be enforced.” Albayalde said.