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Taiwan, Philippines hold joint firefighter training camp

15-day training session aims to enhance Taiwan-Philippines firefighting cooperation

Taiwanese firefighters. 

Taiwanese firefighters.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese and Filipino firefighters wrapped up a 15-day Taiwan-Philippines Fire and Special Search and Rescue Training Camp on Thursday (Sept. 21).

The training was held at Taiwan’s National Fire Agency training center in Nantou County. It aimed to enhance international firefighting cooperation and leverage Taiwan's advanced firefighting capabilities to assist the Philippines' emergency response capabilities, per Liberty Times.

Philippines Bureau of Fire Protection Wilberto Rico Neil A Kwan Tiu led a delegation of mid to high-ranking Filipino firefighting officials for practical training. They also learned about Taiwan's firefighting and disaster prevention technologies and equipment.

The training camp was organized by the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF) and sponsored by the Office of Trade Negotiations, the National Fire Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Bureau of Foreign Trade, according to TAEF. The goal of the training camp was to bolster international firefighting cooperation.

Taiwan and the Philippines have a history of close cooperation in disaster prevention and firefighting training, TAEF said. The two countries signed a Taiwan-Philippines Disaster Prevention Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding in May 2021 to further strengthen their collaboration.

At the closing ceremony on Thursday, NFA Director-General Hsiao Huan-chang (蕭煥章) said he was proud of sharing Taiwan's experience with the Philippines. He emphasized that this exchange of experience benefits not only Taiwan and the Philippines but also the world.

Taiwan has learned from its own painful experiences with disasters and continuously improved its national search and rescue capabilities, Hsiao said.

The foreign ministry’s central office director, Weng Ying-Min (翁瑛敏), highlighted the importance of international exchanges due to climate change, earthquakes, and typhoons. She emphasized the mutual assistance between Taiwan and the Philippines in times of natural disasters.

Manila Economic and Cultural Office Taichung Branch director Chu Ching-Ya (朱靖雅), said the Philippines frequently faces natural disasters. Since signing the MOU with Taiwan in 2021, the Philippines has learned valuable methods and experiences in disaster response and a better environment can be provided for future generations, she said.