The ARF VDR

The ARF's Voluntary Demonstration of Response exercises begin on May 4.
The Asean Regional Forum’s Voluntary Demonstration of Response, a multi-lateral exercise involving 20 ARF member countries, begins on May 4 and will last until May 8. The exercise scenario is a super typhoon hitting a land mass, killing people and destroying infrastructure. The Philippines — the country hit by the typhoon — asks for help and ARF members respond.

Notes on the press conference. No time to edit or go through these again; there might be mistakes, not just in spelling but also on the substance.

Administrator glenn j rabonza
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Rp hosting first ever arf vdr…voluntary display of response on
idsaster relief. Evne as we are talking the exercise is ongoing
because of engineering projects now being done in central Luzon. This
arf is the fisrt ever and a decision made by arf ministers during a
meeting in Singapore way back in jluy 2008 and the phils has the honor
of hosting first ever vdr and we are organizing this with the us
gov’t, the us pacific command. All systems are now go…before coming
here I was supervising at the maritime display or demonstration at
manila bay. We are ready to conduct this, this is the culmination of
planning we have been doing since late last year…

Leo Herrera-lim, office of usec for policy. Dfa wants our foreign
policy as relevant as it can be for our citizenry…the day job of admin
rabonzay is to respond to disasters. We try to harness that by
showcasing abilities of our disaster response..chose platform where
central membership comes from asean countries. Try to excite
membershpi to hold joint exercise on responding to disaster. The whole
idea bore fruit last year when the arf ministers, 27 countries, agreed
to stage exercises in phils. First time arf would have such exercise.
For 16 years, usually a talking shop…first time we are sharing the
same platform in terms of responding to simulated disaster. The chosen
scenario is a category four typhoon that will strike land mass in
asia, phils.
Search and rescue at sea, how to rebuild school, how to treat patients
and animals,

Rabonza: 20 out of 27. 12 small unit civil military, principally
rescuers, medical, eng’g personnel. 80 biggest delegation from japan.
4-5 medical personel, smallest. If you include phli contingent, 280
people engineers doctors aside. Made it small, operative word we don’t
want to bite off more than we can chew. Difficulty, challenge of
coordinating movements of so many forces, responders…12 are bringing
small units, biggest delegaation from japan, phils 280. Under 300
foreign troops. About 500 plus participants, less than 600. Smallest
delegation observers from eight countries, India one observer. Us
about 30.

Leo: always good to look forward into what are fruits of exercise but
way ahead of us. We’re still trying to coordinate procedures. In case
disasters strike like last year…nargis, china, frank. All disasters
had voluntary demonstration of response from international
community…want to harmonize all those before we go to mor complex task
of traditional security. Rp trying to address the non traditional
security concerns. This one is trying toa ddress disaster relief,
response. More of confidence building, sharing of procedures.
..depends on skill of presentations…some want Myanmar response similar
to china or rp…exercises like what we’re having next week tends to
build up cnoffidence among parties concerned and try to
improve…probably by next year we can have a better coordination and
more closer approximation…

(more detailson japan continngent) rabonza: u2 aircraft, maritime
rescue aircraft, as big as c130, can land and takeoff from sea. Very
useful aircraft as platform for rescuing people lost at sea. Part of
scenario capsized vessel off manila bay…we will call in this platform
from the Japanese. Aside from rescue personnel on board they have also
people doing medical work. 12 Japanese medical workers. Rest are red
crooss and responders.

(exercise exempted from sofa or vfa…these are foreign troops coming
in) none of these forces will stay here beyond 21 days. (exempted
from) visa requirements.

Leo: we’ve gone through lot of disasters wherein identified specific
areas for International response and none of them would have required
umbrella agreement. Consulted doj on this matter and constitutional
provisions on basing arangements…advise not covered because consti
provisions require a status of forces or vfa only in case of troops
that are significant permanence, and this one, groups are more of
supportive role…would include medical team, primarily civilian
exercise using military assets.

Malaya: doj when we consulted them said no consti obstacle on
undertaking, very short term, essentially civilian disaster exercise.
No need for status of forces agreement because no special treatment or
status for participating elements of other countries except those
already covered by existing agreement. The usual entry requirements.
Australia: 20. 1 env’tl health team, 3 primary health, seven
personnel. S engineers.
China: send observers from embassy. Static display, display response
to earthquake.
Us: planners from us peyton, us embassy. Small contingent.
(aerial disasters…) rabonza: we only ask for assistance if our
capacity to respond is overwhelmed…disasters that visited us have been
intense…the international protocol here is when you are hit by
disasters and you declare your capacity is overwhelmed, you ask for
assistance…

Part of exercise is rebuiling after a disaster, rebuilding of two
schools in Pampanga, digging of waterwell, localized water
distribution systems in bgy sapang bato. Now currently building
footbridge that will connect…only security cmoponent is security
proteciton gov’t will extend. Small contingent…not big one, confined
in three areas, sapang bato…arayat, zambales resettlement. Pretty
secure and coordinated.
Us gov’t is basically footing the bill.

Leo: us gov’t shoulders what the other participants cannot
covver.force security by phil side. Not like giant exercise, more of
contained exercise, idea is to share knowledge so that we can act
appropriately in case of disaster.

Arf would want to talk more about what happens here. Even while we
were still planning, some countries expressed interest to co-host in
future. Activities in arf that doesn’t have folllow through…this one
we want to carry forward..don’t mind if other countries build upon
exericse.

Rabonza: call ndcc…ask un country team..simulated damage and needs
assessment because of typhoon…and indicate needss to be filled up for
interntational assistance.

Leo: individually…asean offered assistance, to distribute water supply
ect. What we want to happen is a bit of coordination so we have the
right response at the right place because a greater calamity…almost
within 24 hours there was an asean offer.

Two days

Typhoon will until may3, 10 days.
Discussions predated nagirs.

Rabonza: simulating two years…typhoon of 2006 milenyo, senyang…

(who raised alert level to 5. How prepared ndcc to respond to swine
flu) 6am phil time who director gen raised pandemic alert level. Virus
has jumped from one region to another. That is just one bit short from
phase 6, where already pandmic. Countries not yet affected now go into
pandemic preparedness response which is imminent. Met ndcc in
emergency meeting last Monday afternoon, took stock of preparedness,
the country is prepared for the threat of the swine flu. Prepared: the
phils is benefiting from investments in anti sars and anti avian flu
program. Since late 2004 wheen we had eo 280 prescribing the national
avian influezna protection program, put into mechanism measures to
guard the country against pandemic. Now confronting it as human health
problem. Duque takes lead role under this mechanism.
(what does pandemic stage entail). .measures, the lines of defense
putting place, prevent infect people coming in;intensify survillance
of court …next line of defense is disease surveillance.

(travel ban) that will be the call of…the crisis manager is duty…

(measures to be enforced because of pandemic_ heard duque we do lot of
social distances,…avoid crowded places…
Nno need to allot additional budget because the budgets are in place.
Member agencies have their own budgets so member agencies will respond
using hteir onw budget.

Malaya: we have no report of any Filipino having been infected by
swine flu virus, including Filipinos who are in mexico. As of
yesterday.
309 fils in mexico.
(volume of traffic) check with other authorities…

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