MANILA — Military officers from Eastern Visayas who helped victims of Typhoon Odette last year were hailed in the recent Armed Forces of the Philippines awards.
In a statement, the AFP said the Naval Reserve Center-Eastern Visayas (NRCen-EV) unit had received two of six awards: Best Ready Reserve Unit (Brigade Level) of the Year and Best Ready Reserve Unit (Battalion Level) of the Year.
They bested other reservist units of the military during the AFP-wide competition marking the 43rd National Reservist Week.
"Our men and women were victims of Super Typhoon Odette, too, but that did not deter them from helping other people through our humanitarian and disaster response efforts last year," said NRCen-EV Head Commander James Lugtu during the awarding ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
"They were also exposed to COVID-19, but the pandemic did not hinder our reservists," he added.
Odette (international name: Rai) was the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines last year and displaced over 561,000 people.
It pounded the southern and central part of the country on Dec. 16 and 17, knocking down power lines and trees and unleashing deadly floods.
Lugtu said the guidance and direction from the Visayas Command, Naval Forces Central, and Naval Reserve Command motivated their reservists to offer more than expected, "to go above and beyond the call of duty, especially in times of disasters."
"I give back all the honor to our reservists. Their passion, and more importantly, their willingness to act on their passion, propelled us to win these awards," he also said.
Other awards during the ceremony were Best Enlisted Personnel of the Year, two Best Reservist Officers of the Year, and Best ROTC of the Year.