23 March 2018

Equipment Support to Bangsamoro Rescue Team by TİKA

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) provided equipment to Bangsamoro Rescue Team in Philippines, which consists of volunteers.

TİKA started the second phase of its project to empower Bangsamoro Rescue Team (BARET), which is an organization that is active in Mindanao Island of the Philippines, located in Pacific Ring of Fire and consequently a frequent victim of earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.

Initially founded by volunteers to work in Cotobato City of the Mindanao Island, the emergency response team BARET received emergency rescue vehicle and technical equipment support from TİKA in 2017, and it expanded its scope to serve the majority of the island and transformed into one of the leading units in the region when it comes to emergency aid and first response in post-disaster settings.

In particular, during the siege laid on Marawi by the terrorist organization DAESH, BARET was one of the first responders and one of the most active teams. Today, during the restoration process of Marawi, it works closely with many public organizations for preparations for natural and man-made disasters, preventive measures and the improvement of emergency response systems.

In the second phase of the project to empower BARET, the vehicle previously provided by TİKA was transformed into a fully equipped emergency response vehicle, which can offer medical first aid and ambulance services to victims rescued with post-disaster recovery efforts. Furthermore, in order to help BARET work more effectively, the lacking equipment was supplied and the organization’s technical infrastructure was improved and elevated to international standards.

Cotabato City Administrator Dr. Danda Juanday spoke during the ceremony and stated that BARET greatly helps state organizations on disaster risk management and thanked TİKA and the Turkish people for making it possible for the team to operate on such a large scale.

BARET’s Founding President Captain Aladdin Palanggalan remarked that when they go in to help local people after a disaster, the people who see the Turkish flag and logos on the vehicle and some of the equipment show their happiness and gratitude by asking, “Is Turkey helping us?! Are you also from Turkey?” He also pointed out that thanks to the new equipment, they now can respond to emergency patients on the vehicle and transport them from villages, which are kilometers away, to hospitals in city centers. He thanked TİKA and Turkish people for their support.

The swearing-in ceremony of the new volunteers of Bangsamoro Rescue Team was concluded with the speech by TİKA Manila Program Office Coordinator Yeşim Baktır.

“TİKA donates Additional Rescue Equipment in Cotabato City”

Citizens of Cotabato City, the regional center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in Philippines, received additional rescue equipment from TİKA through Bangsamoro Rescue Team (BARET). The donation aimed to provide health assistance to save lives and minimize injuries to the citizens of the city and nearby municipalities during emergency situations. The additional donated equipment include ambulance stretcher, wheelchair, portable oxygen, hazmat suit, body harness, among others. Last year, TİKA initially donated items to Cotabato City, which include rescue vehicle, water response kits, communication/radio sets, and fire safety equipment.

After eight (8) months of initial donation, TİKA donated additional rescue equipment to Bangsamoro Rescue Team (BARET), an independent and non-partisan humanitarian organization working in Mindanao Island. BARET covers rescue missions not only within Cotabato City but it also covers its neighboring municipalities of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and North Cotabato provinces.

During the donation event, Dr. Danda Juanday, the Cotabato City Administrator acknowledged the importance of BARET to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office in addressing rescue missions. Capt. Aladdin Palanggalan, the BARET’s Founding President expressed his gratitude for the additional rescue equipment they received, and assured that they will keep doing their rescue missions in Mindanao.

The rescue equipment donation is one of the many project interventions of TİKA in the Philippines ranging from humanitarian support to livelihood assistance and health missions.

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