MANILA – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and motorcycle ride-hailing app Angkas have joined forces in boosting disaster response efforts in the country.
OCD administrator Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno and Angkas chief executive officer George Royeca signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) during rites in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Wednesday, the OCD said in a news release on Thursday.
Under the agreement, the OCD and Angkas are to form an advanced delivery system for transporting essential goods and fast-track emergency response efforts during calamities and other disasters in Metro Manila and Cebu, where the app has a strong presence and has established methods of distribution.
It also provides for the recruitment of an initial 100 Angkas riders as first responders who would assist the OCD’s rescue operations.
Angkas will also donate urban search and rescue equipment and gear to the OCD’s tactical unit.
Nepomuceno hailed the partnership as “symbolic” for the government and the private sector.
“(This MOA) aims to manage calamities with the least possible casualties or damage. On behalf of our organization, let me express our gratitude and appreciation for your willingness to assist our organization in our mission of helping save our communities during emergencies. The mission or job of saving Filipinos cannot be handled solely by the government. It cannot be handled by the government alone,” he said in his speech during the signing rites.
“This event signifies the necessity of the private sector helping the government for a common interest of preparing and saving communities in case of emergencies.”
Royeca, meanwhile, cited the importance of partnering with the government for disaster response initiatives.
“Walang ibang paraan kundi tayo ay magtulungan (There is no other way but for us to help each other). With this commitment, we heed the call of the OCD, kapag mayroon tayong disaster, may calamity (when there is a disaster or calamity),” he said.
Royeca added that the training that the OCD would provide would hopefully strengthen the skills of Angkas bikers so they could help during emergencies.
He also expressed hope that more Angkas riders would join the emergency response efforts. (PNA)