MANILA – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) announced that it has around PHP500 million worth of quick response funds (QRF) which can be utilized for relief efforts that might be needed in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Betty.

In a statement Sunday, OCD administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said this can be divided into PHP256.2 million for the standby QRF for 2023 and another PHP244.7 million from the "continuing QRF from last year."

“Aside from the QRF, the OCD Central (Office) and its regional offices have a total of PHP108.2 million worth of prepositioned non-food items. All these are ready for distribution to assist the affected communities. Other resources of the government are also on standby including our equipment for emergency telecommunications, transportation assets, among others," he added.

Nepomuceno also said the emergency preparedness and response (EPR) protocols of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) are now activated in different parts of the country.

EPR protocols are sets of actions that must be undertaken by various government agencies and the local government units (LGUs) before the onslaught of the storm and during response operations.

“We continue to coordinate with different agencies on preparations for Super Typhoon ‘Betty.’ This is to ensure that all necessary measures are in place from the national down to the local level. We have already identified and activated appropriate emergency preparedness and response protocols in different regions to be affected by the weather disturbance," Nepomuceno said.

Meanwhile, on the status of standby resources, a total of 1,679 teams from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine Coast Guard are on standby for search, rescue and retrieval.

On the status of stockpile and standby funds, the Department of Social Welfare and Development reported that it has a total of PHP2.2 billion in its central office, field offices and National Resource Operations Center.

Response clusters of the government were also activated last May 26 in preparation for the typhoon.

PH Army bolsters preparations

As this developed, the Philippine Army (PA) through the 5th Infantry Division (5ID), continued to work with partner government agencies to bolster preparations for the possible impact of Typhoon Betty in Northern Luzon.

"The 5ID, whose area of operations covers Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, and the Ilocos Region, mustered its disaster response Team at Camp Melchor F. Dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela on the afternoon of May 27. Moreover, 5ID commander Maj. Gen. Audrey L. Pasia updated Cagayan Valley Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Chairperson Regional Director Leon DG Rafael Jr. about the status of deployed Army disaster response teams in the region," PA spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said late Sunday.

The officials also discussed the pre-positioning of water filtration units from the National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council in key areas of Cagayan Valley.

In a separate meeting, Rafael briefed 502nd Infantry Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Eugene Mata on the disaster risk profile of areas in the northern portion of Cagayan that might be affected by the typhoon.

"Meanwhile, Army soldiers joined the multi-agency meeting of the Cagayan Provincial Incident Management Team to discuss plans for prompt and responsive humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts in the province," Trinidad said.

Earlier, the PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila alerted all its disaster response units to prepare for possible deployment to areas threatened by the super typhoon. (PNA)