ILIGAN CITY (PIA) – Wearing military uniforms, 146 reservist enlisted personnel and 17 reservist officers from the 1002nd Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion (1002 RRIBN) respond as frontliners to augment this city’s manpower in the battle against the unseen coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The unit was activated through Executive Order No 29, series 2020 signed by City Mayor Celso G. Regencia on March 15 to hasten the distribution of relief assistance to families in different barangays of Iligan.
But behind the military uniform are farmers, professionals, ordinary employees, businessmen, and some active retired army personnel.
Five of these reservists are employees from the Department of Education (DepEd) that grabbed the opportunity from the suspension of classes to offer services to the community.
One of them is the battalion commander himself, Major Rustico Y Jerusalem, a Senior Education Program Specialist in Planning and Research of Iligan City’s DepEd Division Office.
“Sa spirit of volunteerism, kami po sa reservist ay hindi po kami umaasa na meron kaming makukuha, pero binibigay lang po namin kung ano ang aming kayang ibigay sa ating mga mamamayan,” Jerusalem said.
[In the spirit of volunteerism, as reservists, we are not expecting anything in return from this, but we are giving what we could offer to the people.]
Jerusalem elaborated that the reservists under his command are activated in times of war, natural disasters and other calamities in need of military utility as an augmentation to the regular maneuver unit of the Philippine Army which is the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion.
“In order for you to become a reservist, marami po tayong mga dokumentong kailangang ipasa, dadaan po tayo sa training bago paman ma-commission under the Republic Act 7077 o ang Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippine Reservist Act,” he emphasized.
[For you to become a military reservist, you have to submit required documents, go through training before being officially commissioned under the Republic Act 7077 Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippine Reservist Act.]
The battalion commander also shared that being a reservist requires sacrifice and dedication to serve the country and its people.
“Ang reserve forces po ay nagboboluntaryo, wala po kaming sahod pero galing po sa puso namin yung serbisyo namin na binibigay sa ating mamamayan,” Jerusalem added.
[The reserve forces are volunteers, we don’t have wages, but the services that we offer to our people came from deep within our hearts.]
Meanwhile, as the 1002nd RRIBN continues to help in the delivery of relief goods to barangays. They ask for the patience and cooperation from the residents to abide by the implemented rules and stay at home during the Enhance Community Quarantine period. (CLV/PIA ICIC)