28 March 2014

Olongapo receives four rescue boats from sister city

Virgina Beach in the United States formally turned over four (4) rescue boats worth an estimated P1M to the City of Olongapo.

Olongapo City councilor Jong Cortez who is currently in the US to supervise the student exchange program between the partner cities, received the donation from officials of Virginia Beach lead by Councilor Jim Wood. Wood sponsored the ordinance authorizing the donation.

The boats were pledged by Virginia Beach during the official visit of Mayor Paulino and city officials for the sister city program following the September 2013 flood that struck Olongapo City.

Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino said the donated rescue boats will boost the city’s rescue capability especially during the rainy season when floods are expected to happen in Olongapo.

“Currently we don’t have any budget to purchase new boats. The donation is expected to arrive before the rainy season. We here in Olongapo are very thankful for this help from our sister city.” Paulino said.

The donated boats include a 24-footer Boston Whaler with a twin-225 horse power engine, two rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIB) with 50hp and 75hp outboard motors, and an aluminum utility skiff, all conservatively valued at $25,000. All boats came with trailers, sirens, sonar/radar.

Virginia Beach officials said that the 225HP engine of the Boston Whaler was purchased for $18,000 and is only 3-4 years old.

Witnessing the turnover were officials from the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC led by Capt. Elson Aguilar, Naval & Defense Attache and First Minister Elmer Cato representing His Excellency Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia.

Councilor Jong Cortez accepts the deed of donation and papers of the four rescue boats from Councilor Jim Wood. Behind them is the 24 footer Boston Whaler police patrol / rescue boat, equipped with two (2) X 225 horse power Mercury engine, radar, siren and trailer for easy transport & deployment.