By LITO RULONA
CITY hall yesterday clarified that it has no plan yet to buy a helicopter to be used in disaster risk reduction and management operations contrary to what a local radio station reported.
The clarification came after the Magnum Radio quoted City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department officer-in-charge in-charge Nick Jabagat as saying that buying a rescue helicopter for quick emergency response is being planned by local officials.
But city hall spokesperson Maricel Rivera said buying a rescue helicopter not being discussed in city hall yet.
Rivera said what happened was that a radio reporter asked Jabagat if city hall has plans to buy a helicopter in order to improve CDRRMD’s operations, and so he replied: “Usa kini ang gilantaw sa atong mayor in preparation to become metropolis ilabi na gyud kung modako ang atong area of responsibility. Usa sa makatabang ang rescue helicopter nga makatabang.”
Jabagat added: “Damgo ta kini nga maka-baton bisan usa ka helicopter lamang as part of CDRRMD assets to be fast in responding emergency cases.”
He however said that another option would be for city hall to partner with private companies that already have helicopters.
Ideally, according to Rivera, a growing city like Cagayan de Oro would need to invest on air assets sooner or later, but buying a helicopter for rescue operations is a matter that is still not being discussed in city hall right now.
Meanwhile, Jabagat said CDRRMD is expecting four ambulances in addition to its four emergency vehicles in the coming months.
CDRRMD, he said, also need a firetruck and a water tanker.
“Paspas kaayo gadako ang siyudad. Need gyud pud nga mo-expand ang CDRRMD to prepare for bigger responsibilities,” he said.
Jabagat said the CDRRMD is also in the final stages of a plan to move its office to uptown Cagayan de Oro.
“Mas advantage ang naa kami sa taas kay daghan ang maagi-an” to the two districts of the city, he said.