MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) will be using the recently decommissioned World War II-era corvette, BRP Magat Salamat (PS-20), as a temporary command post for the duration of the relief operations in Dinagat Islands which was severely devastated by Typhoon Odette.
In a statement Monday night, PN spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said the ship will also be serving as a "mother-ship" for smaller naval craft now helping in the relief efforts.
"As a floating command post, PS-20 will once again play a critical role as a jumping-off point for various humanitarian assistance and disaster response units and other relief efforts for the people of Dinagat Island(s). She will act as a 'mother-ship' for smaller PN boats and crafts that are operating in the area," he added.
Negranza said the former BRP Magat Salamat will set sail again with a volunteer force composed mainly of its last crew.
The BRP Magat Salamat, along with BRP Miguel Malvar, was formally retired last December 10.
Both ships served the PN for 44 years. BRP Magat Salamat was acquired by the Philippine Navy in April 1976 and was originally commissioned in the US Navy as USS Gayety (AM-239) in 1945.
"Efforts are now underway to prepare for her relief voyage and to consolidate much-needed relief items for the people of Dinagat Island(s)," he added.
Aside from the humanitarian aid-focused vessels assembled by the PN and deployed in the areas devastated by the recent calamity, Negranza said the Navy intends to exhaust all available resources to assist other government agencies and partner stakeholders in providing relief and assistance to typhoon-stricken Filipinos. (PNA)