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PRIB: Senate commends PH rescue contingent in Turkiye, Syria

PHILIPPINES, March 15 - Press Release
March 15, 2023

Senate commends PH rescue contingent in Turkiye, Syria

The Senate has commended the valor and the acts of service of the 82-strong Philippine rescue and recovery contingent who responded to the call for help of Turkiye and Syria following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the two countries last month.

In a unanimous vote, the Senate on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 adopted Resolution No. 53 sponsored by Sen. Lito Lapid commending the 82-member Philippine team, composed of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Health, Office of the Civil Defense, Metro Manila Development Authority, and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, who flew to Turkiye and Syria to aid in the international rescue and recovery operations.

All senators were made co-sponsor of the adopted resolution.

"They are the epitome of selflessness and dedication of service. Filipinos are known to help each other in times of need. No burden can be carried by one person alone. We spread the weight in each other's shoulders and push forward together," Sen. JV Ejercito said in his co-sponsorship speech.

In a short manifestation, Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri thanked the 82-member Philippine contingent to Turkiye and Syria for their service and dedication to help those who are in need.

"By extending your skill, expertise, courage and selflessness to the victims of Turkiye and Syria, you have carried the country with you and let our Syrian and Turkish brothers know that they are not alone in this time of crisis," Zubiri said.

The Philippine contingent was composed of 33 Armed Forces of the Philippines members, 21 of which are from the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion, 51st Brigade; 12 from the Air Force 505th Search and Rescue Group, and 31 personnel from the Department of Health, composed of seven (7) Doctors, eight (8) Nurses, two (2) I Medical Technologists, and two (2) Pharmacists, as well as other logistical officers.

On behalf of the country, the Philippine team brought goods to the quake victims, including clothing and sleeping kits for winter, and hygiene and sanitary kits, which are much needed by the people affected by the disaster.

"Through the bravery, dedication, and determination of the Philippine Government contingent, they were able to contribute significantly to the rescue and recovery operations in Turkiye, providing necessary aid and support to those affected by the earthquake," the resolution said.

?"[T]heir acts of selflessness, sacrifice, and valor in service to humanity are worthy of praise and commendation, as they exemplify the spirit of heroism and bayanihan that the Filipino people are known for," it added.

Last February 6, 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Turkiye and northwest Syria. It was estimated that 48,448 people were killed in the Turkiye while more than 6,000 people died in one of the most powerful quakes in the region in at least a century.