By: Marie Joy L. Simpao
OLONGAPO CITY, April 3 (PIA) -- Virginia Beach in the United States recently donated four rescue boats to its Philippine sister city of Olongapo in a bid to boost disaster response capabilities.
The boats, which amounts to $25,000 or P1 million, were solicited by Olongapo councilor Jong Cortez last September at the height of the worst flooding the city had experienced in years due to torrential rains caused by the Southwest monsoon that was enhanced by tropical storm Odette.
"When Councilor Jong approached me to donate boats, I saw that these equipment were badly needed. So after we talked, I readily agreed and sponsored an ordinance authorizing the donation," Virginia Beach councilor Jim Wood shared.
For his part, Mayor Rolen Paulino expressed gratitude to their sister city.
"Currently, we don't have any budget to purchase new boats. So these donations, which are expected to arrive before the onset of the rainy season, are a blessing to our constituents. We here in Olongapo are very thankful for this help from our sister city," Paulino added.
The donated boats include a 24-footer Boston Whaler with twin-225 horse power engine, two rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) with 50hp and 75hpoutboard motors, and an aluminum utility skiff.
Each is equipped with trailers, sirens, sonars and radars. (CLJD/MJLS-PIA 3)