The Philippines remained a great bystander before and during the much ballyhoed Unha-3 three stage rocket launch by North Korea that was after all a great dud.
Some four hours after the rocket exploded over the Yellow Sea, the North admitted the satellite had failed to enter orbit, and that “scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure.”
Early this week, here in Bicol the regional disaster risk reduction and management council (RDRRMC) activated the quick response recovery team (QRRT) composed of personnel from the AFP, national police, coast guard and the bureau of fire protection in case missile debris from the North Korean rocket falls in Bicol. The provinces of Camarines Norte and Catanduanes were identified areas projected to be hit by missile debris.
While there was no exact location zeroed for the downward trajectory of the debris, the QRRT was tasked for immediate deployment in the two provinces.
If ever, the debris might fall approximately 190km East off Polilio Island or 130km North off Catanduanes. Nevertheless, the commander of the naval forces assigned in southern Luzon assured the deployment of two naval ships near Quezon’s Polillo islands for the purpose.
All of the above assurance and bravura came to naught, thanks to Nokor’s failure. We confirmed fishermen heeded the advice of local governments not to go fishing on areas identified as sphere for fallng debris as a result of the rocket launch.
Already, the government has lifted the no-fly and no-sail zones along the path of the missile. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines announced domestic and international flights were allowed to resume schedule. The expected delays now averted as some international flights were ordered to skirt the no-fly zone.
The ban on the movement of all merchant marine and fishing vessels within missile path was also lifted by the Maritime Industry Authority.