Relief packs being loaded by personnel for distribution. (Photo courtesy of Naval Forces West)

The Naval Forces West (NAVFORWEST) spent the Christmas season packing and distributing relief aid to areas in Palawan badly hit by Typhoon “Odette.”

On Christimas Eve, Commodore Donn Anthony Miraflor said the unit worked with the Western Command (WESCOM) to deliver food packs to 43 families in Pag-Asa Island in the Kalayaan municipality. The food packs were delivered via the Nomad aircraft.

Pag-Asa Island sustained extensive damage due to the typhoon, particularly the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) detachment. However, no residents or military personnel on the island were hurt during the storm, said WESCOM commander Vice Adm. Ramil Roberto Enriquez.

On Christmas Day, NAVFORWEST worked with the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT-3) and the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBde), together with Coast Guard Station Roxas, the municipal disaster office, Roxas police and civilian volunteers to bring food packs for around 1,500 families in Barangay Salvacion (Puerto Princesa), Roxas, San Vicente, Taytay, and El Nido.

Araceli and Dumaran, also badly hit by the storm, received around 2,000 food packs on the same day, which were shipped via the BRP Dagupan City.

On Sunday, personnel delivered relief goods to Barangays Macarascas and Lucbuan, two northern barangays in Puerto Princesa that were also severely impacted by Odette. An estimater 700 relief packs were given to the St. Ezekiel Moreno Parish and 500 packs were given to Lucbuan barangay captain Berlie Gabinete.

On the same day, relief goods were also delivered to the island towns of Cuyo, Agutaya, and Magsaysay, according to Miraflore.

Around 900 packs of goods and 300 sacks of rice were reportedly distributed throughout the islands.

“400 bags from CMOG PN and 500 bags coming from the donations noong mga taga Ayala Alabang Village. Actually, some from De La Salle, Brgy. Magallanes, and another group. May mga kumot na bago and towels,” Miraflor said.

NAVFORWEST’s relief efforts are part of the command’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operation, which also support Western Command’s (WESCOM) Joint Task Force I-CARE and the Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).