Taiwanese and Filipino firefighters successfully concluded a 15-day Taiwan-Philippines Fire and Special Search and Rescue Training Camp on September 21. This intensive training program took place at Taiwan’s National Fire Agency training center in Nantou County, with the primary objective of enhancing international collaboration in firefighting and leveraging Taiwan’s advanced firefighting capabilities to bolster the emergency response capabilities of the Philippines.
The delegation from the Philippines Bureau of Fire Protection, led by Wilberto Rico Neil A Kwan Tiu, included mid to high-ranking firefighting officials who engaged in hands-on training exercises. They also familiarized themselves with Taiwan’s cutting-edge firefighting and disaster prevention technologies and equipment.
The Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF) organized the training camp, with sponsorship from the Office of Trade Negotiations, the National Fire Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau of Foreign Trade, as reported by TAEF. The overarching goal was to fortify international cooperation in firefighting efforts. Taiwan and the Philippines have a history of close collaboration in disaster prevention and firefighting training, with both nations signing a Taiwan-Philippines Disaster Prevention Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding in May 2021 to further solidify their partnership.
During the closing ceremony, NFA Director-General Hsiao Huan-chang expressed his pride in sharing Taiwan’s extensive experience with the Philippines. He emphasized that this exchange of knowledge benefits not only the two countries but also the global community, highlighting Taiwan’s continuous efforts to enhance national search and rescue capabilities through lessons learned from its own past disasters.
Weng Ying-Min, the central office director of the foreign ministry, underscored the significance of international exchanges in light of climate change, earthquakes and typhoons. She emphasized the critical role of mutual assistance between Taiwan and the Philippines during natural disasters.
Chu Ching-Ya, director of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office Taichung Branch, noted that the Philippines frequently grapples with natural disasters. Since the signing of the MOU with Taiwan in 2021, the Philippines has gained invaluable knowledge and experience in disaster response, setting the stage for a more resilient environment for future generations.