DND: Unmanned aerial vehicles also useful in disaster relief missions

MANILA Aside from their military functions, the six newly-acquired ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are useful in disaster relief efforts and mitigations.

This was stressed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the turnover ceremonies of the above-mentioned equipment in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City Tuesday.

"ScanEagle will be useful for disaster relief and management. Every year we have typhoons that devastate large tract of land in the countryside and example was the typhoon that hit Cagayan Valley in December or September of 2016, and the method of helping the people there are to assist the damage and it takes time, sometimes three months, six months even a year," he added.

With the ScanEagles now in the Air Force inventory, the DND chief said that the country has the assets to do assessment on typhoon damages immediately.

"Now with this equipment, all we can do is before the typhoon hits, have a mapping of the area, we have a photograph of the area and then take a photograph of the typhoons and I think we can assess the damage in maybe 24 hours or at least 48 hours, it will also fastrack the giving of aid to those devasted areas, (resident those) homes (were) destroyed, riceland destroyed," he added.

Lorenzana said the UAVs could also help the government, especially the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in mapping out aras that are being devastated by mine tailings.

"This will be very useful and I have been telling this to some of our, to the cabinet members that if we have this equipment then it will make the life of our local government to assess the damage of this area easy," the DND chief added.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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