LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 18 (PNA) –- The flow of traffic of vehicles transporting relief goods and passengers from various parts of Luzon to Leyte and Samar provinces in eastern Visayas through the port Matnog in Sorsogon to the Allen port in northern Samar has eased up with the deployment of Philippine Navy ships.
The Navy, through its Naval Forces Southern Luzon, has deployed BRP Dagupan City (LC 551), a logistics support vessel, and BRP Tagbanua (AT 296), a landing craft utility vessel, from Cebu City to Matnog port to help decongest the number of stranded rescuers, relief operations, military troops and humanitarian mission caravan bound for Leyte and Samar.
Commodore Manuel Abinuman, Navforsol commander, said the AT 296 left Matnog port at 2:10 a.m. Monday bound for Allen port with 80 tons of cargo -- consisting of four M35 trucks, one Elf truck, one pick-up and two sports utility vehicles – and 19 civilians and 30 military passengers.
Abinuman said another four more Philippine Navy Auxiliary Reserve Unit (PNARU) vessels manned by naval reservists are expected to arrive Monday to augment the decongestion operation by helping ferry those stranded to the two provinces.
The Navy has also commissioned MV Maria Natasia, another PNARU vessel, and has already transported relief goods, military troops, disaster responders and trucks from Matnog port.
The augmentation of PN vessels is solely for relief and disaster response purposes, Abinuman clarified.
Thus, priorities will be personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, government line agencies and local government units.(PNA) FFC/FGS/EPS/CBD