RELIEF OPS. The Philippine Navy's landing crafts BRP Iwak and BRP Ivatan arrive at Dapa, Siargao Island on Wednesday (Dec. 22, 2021). The ships carried relief supplies for typhoon-affected communities on the island. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Navy)

MANILA – Philippine Navy (PN) landing craft, BRP Iwak (LC-289), and its sister ship have arrived at Dapa, Siargao Island on Wednesday, carrying more relief supplies for communities severely affected by Typhoon Odette.

"BRP Iwak arrived at Dapa in Siargao Island in the afternoon of December 22. She brought with her assorted relief goods which include 7,800 kilograms of bottled water from the Office of the Vice President, 142 5-gallon water containers and four boxes of bottled water from the Naval Task Group NCR (National Capital Region) 50 sacks of rice from Jam Pinaroc, 130 pieces of bottled water from Maynilad and other various relief goods consolidated from the different units of the Philippine Fleet, NGOs (non-government organizations) and private stakeholders," said PN spokesperson, Commander Benjo Negranza, in a statement Thursday.

Meanwhile, BRP Ivatan (LC-298) arrived on the island earlier on Wednesday.
The ship, which is under Naval Forces Western Mindanao, left Zamboanga City loaded with 7,000 boxes of assorted food packs from DSWD-9 last December 19.

"Both Navy landing craft are being unloaded as of this reporting, working together with partner stakeholders in the area," Negranza said.

BRP Iwak and BRP Ivatan are part of the 19-ship humanitarian aid-focused efforts of the PN that are being deployed to the areas devastated by “Odette.”

Both vessels are sealift-capable and are able to conduct beach landings, an essential capability relevant for an archipelagic nation such as the Philippines.

"This deployment highlights the Navy’s dedicated efforts to ensure the government’s sustained delivery of much needed relief items to alleviate the plight of our fellow Filipinos affected by this calamity," Negranza said.

Meanwhile, Naval Forces West, which is based in Puerto Princesa City, deployed its air assets to conduct maritime air surveillance (MAS) and rapid disaster assessment and needs analysis (RDANA) in the vicinity of Puerto Princesa City, Northern, and Southern Palawan supporting the requirements of Joint Task Force I-CARE, Western Command.

"Said action aims to provide visual information on the current situation on the affected areas and aid in situational needs in order to conduct focused-humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the government," it added. Also on December 21, one of its aircraft, with tail number NV-312, conducted an emergency reprovisioning mission for the AFP personnel and civilian populace in Pagasa Island, Kalayaan island Group (KIG), West Philippine Sea.

Along with said mission, said asset also conducted RDANA in the other Philippine-held features in the KIG.

"The Naval Forces West will continue to undertake its mission within its area of responsibility in support to the Western Command and the PN. Likewise, the Command will also continuously provide relentless assistance in support of the joint efforts in mitigating the after-effects of Typhoon Odette in the province of Palawan," it said. (PNA)