2009 ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM VOLUNTARY DEMONSTRATION OF RESPONSE (ARF-VDR) ON DISASTER RELIEF EXERCISE. I. BACKGROUND.
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The VDR is a civilian-led, military-supported event. Military participation will be humanitarian in nature and under the direction of civilian agencies.
Both civilian and military personnel may provide humanitarian assistance. Military participation should be at the smallest unit size feasible for effective assistance. Final determination on the numbers of participants/observers is at the discretion of the host country.
All participants/observers from countries without an agreement on the status of their military forces in the Philippines must obtain visas through the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.
Prior approval by the Philippine Government is required on the entry to Philippine territory of military and civil defense assets, such as military aircrafts and vessels, search and rescue equipment and supplies, in accordance with the ARF Guidelines and Oslo Guidelines.
Role of foreign military assets personnel invited to support and complement humanitarian personnel in the VDR shall, to the extent possible, provide operational support only. Distinction between normal functions and roles of humanitarian and military stakeholders shall be maintained (ref. “Oslo Guidelines on the Use of Foreign Military and Civilian Defense Assets in Disaster Relief” ).
Absent a status of visiting forces agreement with the Philippines governing their entry and stay, military and civilian personnel from other ARF participants shall be subject to domestic jurisdiction, including application criminal, civil, immigration and customs laws and regulations, and shall not be entitled to immunities and privileges under such SOVFA.
VDR will involve a Super-Typhoon (Signal No. 4/ Category 5) with landfall and widespread catastrophic destruction with thousands dead and tens of thousands displaced, severe infrastructure damage, disease outbreak and significant public services interruption.