Japanese defense exec reaffirms HADR support for Philippine Army

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Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense of Japan Vice Minister Tsuyohito Iwamoto reaffirmed the Japanese government’s commitment to helping beef up the Philippine Army’s disaster response capabilities during his visit to the 525th Engineer Combat “Mandirigtas” Battalion’s (525ECB) headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila on July 18, 2022.

Vice Minister Iwamoto’s visit and equipment inspection came nine months after the Japanese government donated P51 million worth of water search and rescue, collapsed structure search and rescue, and crushed vehicle extrication and rescue equipment to the Philippine Army. The said donation forms part of Japan’s “Non-Project Grant Aid for Provision of Japanese Disaster Reduction Equipment” to the Philippines which was formalized by both countries in March 2015.

525ECB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Carlo O. Ganancial, in an interview after the event, said that Japan’s top-notch donation helped Mandirigtas troopers enhance their skills that will enable them to save more lives during natural calamities, accidents, or other emergencies.

A capability demonstration showcasing the disaster-response skills of Mandirigtas troopers highlighted the visit of Vice Minister Iwamoto. — PA

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