Invitation to Bid 2017-001
The PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE SPECIAL ACTION FORCE (PNP SAF), with General Appropriation Act of 2017 as basis, intends to apply the amount being the Approved Budget for the Contrat (ABC) to payment under the contract for the supply and delivery of the items below;
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Tales from Zamboanga: The MEDIC
Medics are essential to the success of any fighting unit whether in the police or military. The lives of the troopers depend on their skills in caring for the injured and ability to improvise as situation dictates during actual combat. However, they do not get much attention as the ones carrying the assault rifles or the sophisticated machine guns. But as the designated medic of our assault team, I do not mind the difference as long as I contribute to the success of my unit. With my heavy medical equipment and my firearm, I am just happy to be part of my team’s accomplishments.
THE UNSINKABLE FILIPINO SPIRIT
THE UNSINKABLE FILIPINO SPIRIT
Due to its geographic location, the Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. Rarely a year passes by that not a major natural calamity such as flooding, landslide, storm surge, earthquake and volcanic eruption takes place somewhere in the archipelago. Hence, Filipinos have anchored their lives on dealing with these occurrences and learned to bend with the wind quite literally and figuratively in living amid these dangers. In the morning of November 8, 2013, though, nothing would have prepared our kababayans for the catastrophic effects of one of the most powerful storms ever to make a landfall.
In a matter of hours, super typhoon “Yolanda” turned large portions of Central Visayas into wastelands as strong winds tore off roofs from houses and storm surges inundated coastal towns. By nightfall, all contacts had been lost and situation reports had stopped coming from the area. Sensing the severity of the situation, the PNP leadership immediately mobilized different units to help the worst hit regions of Samar and Leyte islands. The Special Action Force, for its part, ordered all available personnel to prepare for the conduct of search and rescue operations. Before the total extent damage and casualties could be determined, hundreds of personnel from different Police Regional Offices and National Support Units were on their way to augment the PRO-8. SAF troopers based in Panay Island were also on their way by ship to Ormoc City even if they too had been adversely affected by the passing storm.
SAF troopers board a C-130 plane for Tacloban on November 9 even as “Yolanda” has not yet left the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
In the evening of November 9, the initial wave of the contingent led by then-SAF Director PDIR CARMELO E. VALMORIA boarded a Philippine Air Force C-130 plane bound for Tacloban City via Mactan, Cebu. With communication lines still disabled, the world has yet seen the situation in places that bore the brunt of the storm. The troopers arrived at Tacloban Airport early the next day and saw firsthand the devastation caused by more than 300 kph wind and storm surges the height of two storey buildings.
The airport facilities, as well as the adjoining buildings and establishments, were either heavily damaged or destroyed beyond repair. Debris from uprooted trees, crumpled vehicles and washed out dwellings littered the streets. Cadavers of the victims of the storm surge could be seen for kilometers- by the roadside, on top of the trees and inside abandoned houses.
All the troopers could see were remnants of communities that were washed out by deadly storm surges.
At noon, the Chief, PNP, Police Director General ALAN LA MADRID PURISIMA arrived and conducted an ocular inspection of the city together with PDIR VALMORIA. After a quick assessment of the situation, the troopers were organized according to the tasks that they would perform: relief, law enforcement and search and recovery. As the hours have passed, the scope of devastation in the city became apparent to them. Agony and despair filled the atmosphere as survivors wandered around the city looking for their loved ones and picking up whatever materials they can save. Regular activities grounded to a halt and looters roamed the city, taking advantage of the despairing situation and carrying whatever they could from business establishments and private residences.
PDIR VALMORIA conducts a survey of the affected areas.
With little time to spare, the troopers started work in the afternoon shortly after fixing their equipment. They cleared the rubble at the airport and other vital facilities before proceeding to their assigned areas around the city. Others unloaded relief goods to be distributed to the people who swarmed the airport entrance. The stench of death was already setting in and it was only a matter of hours before it would overwhelm the place. They witnessed more of the same as they went further inland, with only a few houses remaining unscathed and dazed victims asking for assistance from them.
Some of the troopers stayed at the airport to help aid workers hand out food and water to hungry residents. The supply was not sufficient to feed them all, but was enough to get them through the succeeding days when more aid would be flown in. In this dire condition, the troopers witnessed remarkable acts of selflessness as neighbors shared whatever food they had even as they were unsure where to get their next meal. Still, thousands were desperate to leave the city and queued up near the tarmac hoping to get a ride in the cargo planes bound for Manila. In order to facilitate the impending mass exodus, the troopers calmly requested the crowd to patiently wait for their names to be processed while the sick and old were given priority.
The city is on the verge of total pandemonium before the dust even settled as residents rush to the airport to get relief goods.
The grim task of finding, identifying and burying the cadavers of those who perished in the deluge fell to the hands of the troopers as well. Working hand-in-hand with the PNP Crime Laboratory, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, Metro Manila Development Authority and other government and private agencies, the troopers scoured the streets, seaside areas and collapsed structures in search of survivors. They had to race against time to find the dead bodies and give them proper burial as cadavers left in the open might spread diseases. It was also the most emotionally wrenching. They had to control their emotions and bear with the images of drowned victims, many of them helpless children, women and elders.
Dead bodies are literally everywhere.
For the next few weeks following their arrival, they fought fatigue, inclement weather and various health hazards in making sure that no stones are unturned in the search for unrecovered cadavers. By early December, they could still find dozens of decomposing bodies every day, floating in creeks or in the sea, and buried beneath the rubbles of earth and rock. But the troopers were thankful that the peace and order situation had been immediately stabilized and they were able to concentrate on this important task.
KEEPING ORDER IN THE CITY
Another main concern that the national and local government immediately addressed was curbing the widespread looting and easing panic among the residents of the affected areas. They also needed to ensure the safety of the agencies involved in the relief and rehabilitation operations in order to avoid security problems. Together with other PNP units, the Special Action Force took the lead in enforcing laws and ordinances to help the territorial police force which was still reeling from the effects of the disaster. Operating in makeshift checkpoints and without the benefit of patrol vehicles, the troopers had to make do with the limited resources they had. They also slept on the sidewalks during the first few days because there were no quarters available and had to walk for kilometers to the command post to get their daily rations.
Using improvised signage, the troopers work hard to ensure public safety.
Although initially intended for search and rescue, the SAF troopers were nonetheless up to the task of securing the downtown area and nearby villages from criminals especially after reports came out that prisoners from the nearby provincial jail are still unaccounted. Even though undermanned in all areas, they did what they could to maintain a semblance of order amid the chaos. Several dozen thieves were caught in the first few days alone, and more were arrested in the succeeding weeks as curfew was enforced and foot patrols were intensified. Also in a joint operation, SAF and Criminal investigation and Detection Group personnel apprehended members of a large group stealing motorcycles in Tacloban City and nearby municipalities.
They gradually expanded their operations to other parts of the city until crime incidents were reduced to minimum. Finally, the populace was able to sleep soundly at night and not worry about their safety and their properties being carted away. But this would not have been achieved without the support of the residents themselves, as they helped report crimes and willingly followed the regulations set forth by the government.
The troopers take the cudgels in going after criminals who took advantage of the situation to victimize hapless citizens.
In the desperate situation brought about by the disaster, stealing food and basic provisions would have been understandable; but taking valuables and properties can never be tolerated. Among the most commonly recovered items from the arrested thieves included electronic gadgets, appliances and automobile parts, which cannot be considered necessities even in this circumstance. Maintaining peace and order during this difficult period may be the greatest contribution of the unit, because it paved way for the smooth and orderly operations in the weeks that followed.
MORE HELP ARRIVE
Soon after the initial wave of rescue and relief personnel touched down on “ground zero”, other government agencies, non-government organizations and the international community followed and brought more relief goods, medical equipment and professionals who could lend a hand to the residents. And as the effort gradually shifted from relief to rehabilitation, the people were glad to see a concerted effort from all sectors in rebuilding damaged infrastructure, restoring services and providing decent housing for the homeless. After the initial snags, the operation to help our affected kababayans was finally taking off.
Local and international organizations take part in the effort to avert a humanitarian crisis in the affected areas.
With transportation and communication networks immobilized and livelihood destroyed, the residents faced hunger in the long term. Fortunately, more goods arrived as the airport was able to accommodate more cargo planes and supply trucks started arriving by land from Manila. Other organizations also gave whatever they could contribute in the efforts despite the logistical limitations experienced in the first days of the operations.
Even with their tight schedule, the troops were glad to assist foreign and local organizations and individuals who went to the area at their own expenses. It was not uncommon at that time to meet random strangers who used their own resources to purchase food and clothing from Cebu or Manila, transport the goods and distribute them to isolated villages all by themselves. Others took time off from their jobs and worked as volunteers with various agencies while living with the evacuees at the centers.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits Tacloban City on December 22 and appeals for more help for the typhoon victims.
During their time in the affected areas, the troopers have set their mind on staying longer than most of the other units that were sent there. But as the situation slowly returned to normal, they knew they had to go back to their home bases to perform other important tasks. They would not be able to take part in the next phases, but they can always take pride in being at the place at the most critical time when the people needed help to overcome their living nightmare. Fortunately, the story did not end with the unprecedented devastation; but with how the incident brought out the best in the Filipinos.
Their smiling faces say it all.
As the residents face a long rebuilding process, they would not be alone thanks to the Filipino bayanihan spirit which demonstrated that anything is possible if we work together. In the face of great hardship and loss of lives, we showed the world just how resolute we are against all odds. Even foreigners marvelled how we can smile even if we lost everything and confront an uncertain future; and how we find reasons to stay positive with whatever help extended to us. These traits have been deeply ingrained that no amount of adversity can dislodge them from the Filipino character. The Special Action Force is truly humbled to have been part of this experience.
On the day the troopers were set to depart from Tacloban City, the people gave them a simple but poignant symbol of recognition for their service. Accordingly, after learning that the troopers will be leaving soon, a resident snapped a picture of the SAF seal and had it printed all the way in Cebu City. They then passed the tarpaulin around the barangays, schools and business establishments to be signed by the grateful locals, further proving that the troopers had left an indelible mark in their lives.
At approximately 8:10 AM on December 24, the last troopers to leave Tacloban City arrived at the SAF Headquarters after travelling by land for two days.
COURAGE: A CHRONICLE OF THE ZAMBOANGA SIEGE
COURAGE: A CHRONICLE OF THE ZAMBOANGA SIEGE
Throughout its colorful history, the capability of the Special Action Force to deal with different kind of adversities had been repeatedly put to test. Whether faced against secessionist groups, coup plotters or plain terrorists, the troopers always found ways to win despite the odds being stacked against their favor. The latest crisis that put the country in the news once again was unlike the others as a disgruntled lawless group tried to take over a peaceful city and stopped at nothing to achieve their purpose. But just like the earlier incidents, good still triumphed over evil in the end.
SAF BAGS SILVER EAGLE AWARD IN PERFORMANCE GOVERNANCE SYSTEM
The SAF participants for the PGS Reporting and Certification headed by the Director,
POLICE CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT GETULIO P. NAPEÑAS.
The Special Action Force hurdled the first stage with flying colors after getting the Silver Eagle Award with a final rating of 9.34% during the Performance Governance Reporting and Certification held at the PNP Training Service in Camp Crame, Quezon City on December 18, 2013. The activity was part of the certification for the Initiation Stage of PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. Plan 2030 which was further enhanced by the Strategic Focus “CODE-P: 2013 and Beyond” by the Chief, PNP. Overall, SAF was ranked third out of 11 presenters that included three Regional Police Offices, seven National Support Units and a City Police Office.
The panel was composed of representatives from the PNP National Headquarters, National Police Commission, National Advisory Group for Police Transformation and Development, the media and other major stakeholders.
With the certification, SAF has moved towards the Compliance Stage which consists of the formalization of the Multi-Sectoral Governance Council (MSGC), cascading of SAF vision and its strategies to include aligning of its budget and human resources.
The Special Action Force derives all courses of action from its Charter Statement for the attainment of the vision to be a highly capable, effective and credible tactical and support unit of the country by 2020.
The initial draft of the vision was for SAF to be comparable to the world’s best but contentions arose that such is still far from reality. The next proposal is to be comparable to Asia’s best, but it is hard to identify which is the best unit in Asia. Others suggested that SAF should not be compared with other units from different countries because each country has its unique government structure, policing system, economic condition, etc.
The final vision was then formulated (as stated above) in consonance with our own cultural, socio-economic and environmental setting. Since we are not in the point of comparison with other units, the term “most” was replaced by “highly” capable. The phrase “highly capable, effective and credible…” states the high standard of proficiency and capability of SAF as an operational unit, producing great results or solution to every given task and helping establish its integrity and reputation as a unit worthy of confidence and trust of the units supported and people served.
The year 2020 was selected as the target date in order to allow time for the unit to achieve its goal and make possible innovations prior to the 2030 timeline of the PNP Vision. This is also in line with the prerequisites for a vision which is “time bound, achievable, concrete, vivid and crafted.” Because a vision must be one that we aspire to become, achieve or create; a dream we intend to realize within a given timetable.
Just like the whole PNP organization, the SAF strategies are deployed and tracked through the Four Perspectives: the Customer (Community) perspective, the Financial (Resource Management), the Internal Process (Process Excellence), and the Knowledge, Education, and Growth Leg (Learning and Growth). These are the tools for gauging its performance based on the measures and targets indicated therein through the execution of the strategic initiatives.
Under Resource Management, the objective is to ensure responsive financial and logistical resources through (a) Adequate and suitable equipment for all personnel; (b) Adequate funds for the periodic maintenance of equipment, facilities and camp development, thereby ensuring their operational readiness; and (c) Maintenance and other operating expenses that correspond to the needs of the unit.
The next step is Learning and Growth, which aims to equip our unit with the needed competencies, values and technologies to support our process improvement. Its main objectives, or measures are a) Ensure that the personnel requirements for SAF are filled up; b) Develop competent, motivated, values- oriented and disciplined SAF personnel; and c) Establish effective and efficient administrative processes and operations supported by modern Information and Computing Technology. The unit is aware that it has to invest in people and processes so it can win "stakeholders' support" and undertake proper, efficient and effective "management of its resources."
In order achieve strategic outcomes through process excellence, the objectives are a) To ensure the effective rapid deployment and utilization of SAF personnel in accordance with the mandate of the unit; b) Institutionalize inter-operability protocols with PNP territorial units and NSUs, other law enforcement agencies and the AFP; and c) Modernize the SAF Command and Control Center which would pave the way for the efficient and effective supervision of SAF activities anywhere in the country. Finally, the SAF Charter Statement requires the strengthening of the partnership and cooperation with the community in order to achieve our strategic goals.