MANILA—Donations from the private sector have warmed the hearts of military reservists assigned in the frontlines with duties manning the checkpoints or ensuring security of other frontline workers since the pandemic began in March.
Brigadier General Cherrisse Manzano, chairperson of Philippine Navy Naval Reserve Command Multi-Sectoral Linkaging Committee, told DZRH Special On Saturday (SOS) program host Cesar Chavez on September 26, that the private sector brings gladness to their hearts and make them grateful to them for giving donations worth millions of pesos.
(The Philippine Navy Naval Reserve Command Multi-Sectoral Linkaging Committee was organized to harness the support of the reservists in its battle against the pandemic.)
“Nakakataba ng puso na nakatatanggap kami ng so much. Talagang millions na on food donations, hygiene kit donations and PPEs (personnel protection equipment),” Manzano mused.
(It warms our hearts that we are receiving so much. It’s really in millions already on food donations, hygiene kit donations and PPEs.)
She disclosed they have received a lot of food donations from McDonalds, Jollibee Food Group Foundation and church organization like Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints.
“Ang dami po naming natatanggap from organizations, companies, at ito po ‘yong ipinamamahagi naming because nakikita po nila ang suporta ng ating mga regulars as well as reservists. Alam mo naman this is not our core competency but we are trying because we’re in this together di ba? We will win as one, that’s why todo suporta po,” Manzano said.
(We are receiving so much from organizations, companies, and these are what we are distributing because they see the support of our regulars as well as reservists. You know this is not our core competency but we are trying because we’re in this together, isn’t it? We will win as one, that’s why full support.)
Lieutenant Colonel Jan Chavez-Arceo, commanding officer of 403rd Ready Reserve KAAGAPAY Battalion in Laguna, said for more than 120 days military reservists were deployed as “support effort of regular forces of the Philippine Army.”
Arceo said the reservist of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are only deployed as counterpart of regular personnel in the checkpoints and the activities of the local government units (LGUs) like the distribution of social amelioration program (SAP) funds.
She said they also accompany the LGUs in the distribution of relief goods and the conduct of information dissemination campaign regarding COVID-19 and how to prevent its transmission.
Arceo further said that they are very thankful to the private sector for providing assistance to many communities in Laguna through the military reservist troops.
Chiming in, Manzano said they do not get mobilized until there is an order and augment the regular personnel doing duties at checkpoints and finding ways to support the regular troops.
MGen Ariel Caculitan, PN(M), commander of the Naval Reserve Command said that Manzano “made huge impact in helping frontliners and communities because of her linkaging skills to different organizations”.
Both lady military reservist officers said that they noticed an increasing participation of volunteers in government’s efforts during this pandemic through the ROTC.