Manila, December 16, 2020 — From December 5 to 8, members of the U.S. Civilian Military Support Element – Philippines (CMSE PHL) provided medical humanitarian assistance and conducted a first responder training in El Nido, Palawan alongside Philippine partners.
CMSE PHL participated in, and donated medicines to, a Medical Civic Action Program coordinated by Philippine Coast Guard District Palawan and other local partners in Sibaltan, Palawan on December 5. The program provided 410 people with medical, dental and eye consultations, medicines, reading glasses, personal hygiene and dental kits, school supplies, and sandals. The event took place in an open-air gymnasium and utilized phased entry and other COVID-19 mitigation protocols to keep participants safe.
“[Translated] We thank the Philippine Coast Guard, doctors, dentists, the U.S. Embassy representatives, and all those who assisted in the distribution of medicines, household supplies, and much more. Many thanks also for the free medical check-up for our Sibaltan residents. This is a great help to us to know the status of our health conditions and receive appropriate care during this time of pandemic,” said a Sibaltan resident.
“It was an honor to be invited to join this outreach and do our part alongside our Philippine Coast Guard friends and partners. Experiencing this level of dedication to service has been nothing short of inspirational,” said CMSE PHL Team Leader Corey Young.
From December 7 to 8, CMSE PHL conducted a training for 24 first responders from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) District Palawan – El Nido and Puerto Princesa Stations, Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and El Nido Emergency Medical Services. Through scenarios tailored to focus on injuries encountered during search and rescue operations, the training expanded the medical capabilities of participants to provide care for citizens injured during emergencies or natural disasters.
“The skills, knowledge and techniques that [CMSE PHL has] imparted will be of great help to our future operations,” said Lt. April Bernal, Commander, Coast Guard Station El Nido.
“Together we created a challenging and realistic training that simulated scenarios that the participants would encounter in an emergency. I am confident that the skills learned during this event will benefit both the PCG and citizens they support in a situation where life-saving skills are needed,” said CMSE PHL Medic Zachary Shimley.
This training and medical donation exemplify the close relationship between American and Philippine friends, partners and allies in fulfilling humanitarian needs and strengthening first responder medical care provision.