On the 22 September 2018, Disaster Relief Australia launched its first international Operational Reconnaissance Team in support of recovery efforts for Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally in the Philippines as Ompong. The typhoon brought damaging winds and rains to a countryside already saturated by weeks of monsoon rains.
The typhoon impacted Filipinos across the country, with extensive landslides destroying homes and lives in several provinces. The Team deployed to the Benguet Province to survey damage and liaise with Government officials to gain an understanding of community needs. The incredibly resilient communities welcomed the TRibe. With recovery and clean-up operations underway under the guidance of Government at municipal and local levels, the opportunity exists to support these efforts with specialist Team Rubicon skills of coordination and technical assessments.
The Team was fortunate to meet with the Vice President of the Philippines, Her Excellency, Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo and the Head of the Angat Buhay Program, Jill Campo-Javiniar to learn about the Vice President’s work with communities in need.
As well as liaising with the Government, the Team was introduced to some of the extensive network of people and organisations in the Philippines with a response focus including the Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation.