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US Ambassador Thomas opens police training center in Pasonanca

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The US Ambassador, Harry K. Thomas Jr. yesterday inaugurated a US-funded training center for the Philippine National Police (PNP) that will its units throughout the Zamboanga Peninsula and Sulu Archipelago.

Mr. Thomas, accompanied by Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) President Ruben R. Platon, performed the ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony at PPSC Regional Training Center 9, Camp Felicisimo Marcos, Pasonanca.

He said the construction of P12.3 million training facility was completed last month with funds from the US Joint Inter-Agency Task Force – West (JIATF-West).

The US Department of Justice, through its International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) will provide training through this facility to PNP units from Zamboanga and Sulu to include courses on community-oriented policing, human rights, ethics, leadership, and police forensics.

Also yesterday, Ambassador Thomas visited Cateel, Davao Oriental to personally hand over a US Government donation of rice for victims of Typhoon Pablo.

Accompanied by Mission Director Gloria D. Steele of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Ambassador Thomas led officials including Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon, Cateel Mayor Camilo Nunez, Department of Social Welfare Development Regional Director Priscilla Razon, and United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Acting Country Director Asaka Nyangara in handing over 2.1 million kilograms of rice for 90,000 Typhoon Pablo victims in the southern Philippines through the WFP.

This rice contribution was earlier announced by Ambassador Thomas during a trip to Davao last December, and is part of the U.S. Government’s total contribution of 5.5 million kilograms of rice for victims of Typhoon Pablo.  Prior to today’s US$6 million DDR donation, the U.S. has provided a total of PhP 508.4 (US$12.4 million) in disaster response assistance for communities most affected by Typhoon Pablo.

Mr. Thomas also announced the US Government’s additional P246 million (US$6 million) assistance for disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives.

“We sincerely hope that our assistance will help meet the crucial needs of the most affected Filipinos and support their recovery.  We truly applaud your unsinkable and steadfast bayanihan spirit,” he said.

The P246 million in DRR assistance will bring disaster risk reduction programs to local government units and communities, including Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

These will include trainings for communities on how to set up disaster early warning systems, develop contingency plans for evacuations, and establish structures to quickly and appropriately respond when disaster strikes.

“We stand ready to partner with your government to carry out mid-term and long-term recovery efforts in the areas of health, education, small-scale infrastructure reconstruction, and environmental activities,” Ambassador Thomas stressed.

By HG



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