The Philipine Red Cross (PRC) now has a fully functional modern Humanitarian Vessel- M/V Amazing Grace.
The 195-foot military prototype vessel was bought late last year to the country, in Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo to be exact straight from its former port in the state of Alaska,United States of America.
PRC Chairman Gordon told press people last May ,that Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) which hit the Philippines three years ago, it took some time for aid to arrive in the hard hit areas in Eastern Visayas due to impassable roads and the closure of airports and seaports, which made it difficult for the government and humanitarian actors like the Philippine Red Cross to bring relief to the affected areas. Trucks carrying humanitarian aid had to line up for days to be accommodated in seaports and sea vessels going to the affected areas. *
|M/V Amazing Grace, originally called Susitna, the disaster response vessel originated from Matanuska-Susitna Borough in Alaska,The PRC acquired the vessel for $1.75 million or P88 million. (photo credit to Philstar.com)|
The full report from CNN Philippines is quoted below:
The country's first and only humanitarian vessel is set to sail, ready to provide disaster response to Filipinos in need.
M/V Amazing Grace, a 195-foot military prototype vessel, can function as a rapid transport, mobile command center, cargo transport vessel, an ambulance, and disaster response ship. It can hold up to 120 passengers and 20 vehicles.
Philippine Red Cross, the Aboitiz Foundation, and Abojeb Company, Inc. signed the memorandum of agreement on Thursday.
"Our engagement for the country's first humanitarian vessel is a testament that we are inspired to do our significant best to make our communities safe and well-prepared," Aboitiz Foundation Board of Trustees chairman Erramon Aboitiz said.
With the deployment of the humanitarian ship, delays in emergency response due to impassable roads, or any breakdown in airports' or seaports' infrastructure, can be overcome. M/V Amazing Grace makes quick humanitarian relief, sea rescue, and mass evacuation by Philippine Red Cross' emergency units possible.
"We in Philippine Red Cross are grateful to seal this partnership with the Aboitiz Foundation and Aboitiz Jebsen. We deeply value this as this partnership means more lives secured in times of disasters," said Philippine Red Cross chairman and chief executive officer Richard Gordon. *
Abojeb, which is supported by the Aboitiz Foundation, offers its ship management services, ensuring the M/V Amazing Grace's efficiency by keeping tabs on its maintenance and repair needs.
"This will enable the efficient delivery of the Red Cross' humanitarian response in times of need," said Carl Martin Faannessen, managing director of Abojeb Company, Inc.