Bancambulansya is a hybrid vessel that serves as a banca (boat) for water search and rescue missions and as a regular ambulance.
A boat ambulance, which enables patients to be immediately rescued or transferred from a far-flung island to the hospital, is exactly the kind of marine vehicle that coastal villages need.
Recently, CEMEX Philippines Foundation turned over the fully equipped CEMEX Bancambulansya to the Municipality of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu.
The CEMEX Bancambulansya will be docked at Malapascua and Carnaza and it will patrol the municipality’s 15 coastal barangays. Their fishing ground is around 400 to 500 square kilometers which is considered quite large.
Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said that the boat ambulance will be very helpful not just for transporting patients from the coastal areas to the mainland but also for water search and rescue missions. “Be assured that our municipality will take care of the bancambulansya,” added Corro.
“Please take it to heart that CEMEX Philippines Foundation is very happy to have helped you in our own meaningful ways. Although the typhoon brought very distressing events, it also brought out the good and best in people— the kindness and malasakit (care) from every person, not just from fellow Filipinos but also from concerned individuals and groups abroad,” said Paul Vincent Arcenas, CEMEX Philippines vice president for strategic planning.
“Apart from the projects we have completed with your help, we will always treasure the relationship we have built with your municipality,” added Arcenas who also serves as board member of the CEMEX Philippines Foundation.
Aside from the boat ambulance donation, CEMEX, through the help of Apo Cement’s Emergency Response Team led by Engr. Ariel Lazarte, also conducted a water search and rescue training for Daanbantanyan’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
The onslaught of Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 left the 15 coastal barangays of the municipality in a state of distress and calamity.
Most of the families were forced out of their homes to find a safer location during the disaster but upon their return, they no longer have roofs or walls to shelter them.
“After we were hit by Yolanda, there’s no such thing as small contribution. Every help counts,” recalled Corro.
Earlier this year, CEMEX Philippines Foundation also turned over the CEMEX Unity Village in Pajo, Daanbantayan to provide new houses to some of the affected families. The construction of the village was implemented in partnership with social development organization Gawad Kalinga.
“Back in 2008, the poverty incident is around 43 percent. After the disaster [in 2013], our donors’ intervention, including CEMEX, helped uplift the lives of our communities by providing houses for them. You can just imagine how happy they were when they finally have houses of their own built on a safer ground,” shared Corro.
The Foundation also donated a hematology analyzer and blood chemistry analyzer to help detect signs of dengue. According to studies and evaluation by the health office of Daanbantayan, there was a high rate of casualties amongst children in the area due to late detection of dengue fever.
“Lately we had an outbreak of dengue and as of August 15, we had 41 cases. We are very thankful that we have this laboratory equipment now to quickly address this health issue,” expressed Corro.