Over the years, the Naval Combat Engineering Brigade known as the “Seabees” has proven its worth and capability in the conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response operations and engineering construction projects. Being the Philippine Navy’s Engineering Arm , this unit is mandated to respond in disasters involving earthquakes, landslides, floods and volcanic eruptions.
In fact, when 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the entire province of Bohol which then flattened majority of the historical structures, houses and buildings last October 2013, the Seabees was once again in the forefront and among the first to respond to conduct rehabilitation operation to the earthquake hit local community in support to Task Force “Tulong Visayas”. The unit dispatched a construction team composed of 15 man team, 1 officer and 14 enlisted personnel to provide immediate actions on rehabilitation as part of PN efforts on HADR operations.
Upon the arrival of NCEBde Task Unit Engineer in Tagbilaran Port, Bohol on 31 October 2013 together with Habitat Mobile Emergency Response (HAMER) truck with four construction workers from Habitat for Humanity Philippines, the team immediately spearheaded the disaster rehabilitation effort and deployed to the town of Calape, Bohol to start the construction of one unit makeshift hospital with an area of 56 square meter (6m x 9m). Base on the assessment and surveys we had conducted before the construction, majority of the confined patients were only occupying the hall way and lobby and some are outside the area of damaged hospital for their safety using collapsible tent only. That is why the construction of makeshift hospital is very much in need for the patients to have their temporary shelter. Without wasting time, the construction team immediately started the construction of makeshift hospital which was made of light materials, and its roofing and side walls are made of canvass sacks. After completion of said makeshift hospital, the whole team immediately transferred to the town of Tubigon for another construction of same size makeshift hospital. Moreover, the team were also able to construct one makeshift hospital for the town of Clarin and Buenavista, respectively.
To encapsulate, the NCEBde Task Unit Engineer aboard Bohol had completed construction of four Makeshift Hospitals in the town of Calape, Tubigon, Clarin, Buenavista and one Model House with toilet and bath in Tagbilaran City. In addition, as of 22 February 2014 the team likewise repaired 98 units of individual houses as part of Bayanihan effort to the families wherein their houses was identified as partially and totally damaged caused by 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Brgy Mantacida, Catigbian, Bohol. These were all accomplished through the PN’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philippines that supplied all the construction materials for the activities.