MANILA, Philippines --- Selected officers and personnel from the Philippine Navy (PN), 157 to be exact, will have to spend Christmas away from their families after they were called to overseas duty as part of the 16th Philippine peacekeeping contingent to Haiti (PCH).
Yesterday, the military gave a warm send-off for the 16th PCH in a ceremony held at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City. The deployment is in line with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
The 16th contingent, composed of 12 officers and 145 enlisted personnel, is the third all Navy force dispatched by the Philippines to Haiti, which has suffered political unrest over the past decades and a deadly earthquake that resulted in 220,000 deaths and further dropped their economy.
Col. Omar Tonsay, the PN spokesman, said the latest peacekeeping force to Haiti will relieve the 15th PCH who is expected to arrive in the country Sunday.
Their tour of duty as peacekeepers will last for six to nine months.