MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) on Thursday said its recently decommissioned World War II corvette, the BRP Magat Salamat (PS-20), arrived with relief goods for communities in Dinagat Islands Wednesday.
"PS-20 departed Eva Macapagal Wharf in Surigao del Norte early Wednesday, carrying a total of 30 tons of assorted relief goods for typhoon-hit Dinagat Islands. On the same day, Ex-PS-20 arrived in the province," Navy spokesperson, Commander Benjo Negranza said in a statement.
The ship was reactivated to help in the ongoing Typhoon Odette relief operations.
He added that the corvette, which recently arrived in the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao area of operations, serves as a jump-off point for various humanitarian assistance and disaster response units, as well as other relief efforts for the people of Dinagat Islands and surrounding communities devastated by "Odette".
Negranza earlier said the ship will 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.
The BRP Magat Salamat, along with BRP Miguel Malvar (PS-19) were formally retired last December 10. Both ships served the PN for 44 years.
BRP Magat Salamat was acquired by the PN in April 1976 and was originally commissioned in the US Navy as USS Gayety (AM-239) in 1945.
Meanwhile, patrol craft BRP Hilario Ruiz (PC-378) has arrived at the Port of Dapa, Siargao Island on Wednesday for another sealift and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission.
Negranza said the naval craft came from Eva Macapagal Wharf, Surigao. The ship's mission is part of the HADR efforts of Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, he added.
"PC-378 accommodated 13 passengers and transported 3,000 kilograms of cargo consisting of 43 sacks of rice, 60 corrugated and plain roof sheets, 25 boxes of assorted relief goods, and 10 boxes of medicines," Negranza said.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the PN has committed 27 ships for the government's relief operations "for Odette".
He also added that PN ships have so far transported 1,225 people and 3 million kilograms of supplies from Manila going to Cebu, Bacolod, Bohol, and Siargao, and Surigao. (PNA)