Bancasi, Butuan City – The 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade continues to extend various assistance in support to partner agencies amidst the COVID-19 pandemic crisis as Army Troopers and Malimono Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) personnel loaded and transported five hundred seventeen (517) sacks of Food Packs to Malimono, Surigao del Norte in the morning of May 22, 2020.

The 402nd Brigade together with its operationally controlled Battalions, the 30th Infantry Battalion and 23rd Infantry Battalion, upon request for manpower assistance by the MSWDO of Malimono, Surigao del Norte, immediately assisted the MSWD personnel in loading and hauling of food packs from the DSWD’s Warehouse located at Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City to Malimono, Surigao del Norte.

A total of 2,609 families in Malimono town will benefit from the food packs consisting of six (6) kilos of rice, four (4) pieces canned sardines, four (4) pieces canned corned beef and six (6) pieces 3 in 1 coffee as the pandemic crisis continues. The loading of food packs started since May 20, 2020 and was completed on May 22, 2020.

Ms Lenie L Seguis, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) Officer of Malimono town conveyed her heartfelt gratitude to the Army troops in providing manpower and security assistance without hesitation even with only a short notice. “Big salute to the Philippine Army. They are the epitome of the word “Maaasahan”. This could be a small thing for them because they are trained in various skills but for us, it is a big deal especially now that the troops are needed more than ever to protect our communities against the terrorists and yet they also have time to help us. Thank you Philippine Army”.

Since the start of the pandemic crisis, the 402nd Brigade had performed a support role to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) particularly in implementing the protocols and guidelines of the Community Quarantine in the Brigade’s AOR. The Brigade had conducted 2, 231 COVID-19 Checkpoints, extended 1, 214 Security Assistance, transported fifteen 15 stranded civilians to include foreign nationals, extended 33 transportation assistance to deliver food packs to beneficiary communities, and provided 33 manpower assistance in repacking of food packs. Meanwhile, to ensure that the protocols and guidelines of COVID 19 are followed, the 402nd Brigade had been conducting information awareness campaigns through its 220 Loudspeaker operations, distributing of leaflets, posting of 56 tarpaulins, to include 94 radio guestings and programming.

In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, the 402nd Brigade Commander said, “We have continuously extended support to the Inter-Agency Task Force amidst the ongoing crisis. Our troops implementing the community support program to the far-flung communities have shifted its effort, for the time being, to implement COVID-19 protocols and guidelines and extended various assistance to partner agencies and private individuals and corporations. The distribution of food packs and the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) is very critical to our fellow Filipinos particularly those who were affected because of this crisis, hence, your Army will not waiver on its mandate to serve the people and ensure the safety of the communities”.