On August 12, the U.S. Embassy Civil Affairs Team (CAT) donated disaster relief tents and medical supplies, valued at Php 1.6 million ($30,000), to support local humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness in Palawan.
Members of the Philippine Coast Guard and U.S. sailors from the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) aided with the delivery of the tents and supplies, which were turned over to the Palawan provincial government during a ceremony in Puerto Princesa City attended by Palawan Governor Dennis Socrates and U.S. Embassy Acting Public Affairs Officer Nina Lewis.
The USNS Mercy has been docked in the Philippines since July 27 to participate in Pacific Partnership 2022, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness exercise conducted in the Indo-Pacific.
“The supplies we received will surely be of great help to our continued disaster readiness efforts. We are beyond grateful for this donation,” said Governor Socrates.
“The local government of Palawan, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have been reliable partners in ensuring that our activities and projects are well-coordinated and executed to their full potential, and that members of the U.S. Embassy CAT are properly welcomed and taken care of throughout our stay in the province,” said U.S. Army Capt. Arthur Kim.
“We continue to be impressed by the professionalism, dedication, and hospitality of our Filipino partners and value any opportunity to work with them here in Palawan,” he said.
The U.S. Embassy CAT has a longstanding collaboration with the Palawan local government, military, and coast guard on several initiatives including educational outreach activities, first responder training, medical and dental programs, and support in the local COVID-19 response.
“We must continue to be adaptive and diligent in ensuring that the Philippines and U.S. partnership remains steadfast and unwavering in the face of global political, economic, and health-related challenges,” Capt. Kim added.
U.S. Army CATs are a part of U.S. efforts to build shared capabilities with partner nations around the world. The U.S. government constantly works to help communities in the Philippines prepare for and be more resilient to natural disasters.