Public Affairs Office head Major Ray Tiongson of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division disclosed that the month-long Philippines and United States Balikatan Exercises in Panay Island, particularly in Capiz culminated, April 27, with the turn-over of a school project.
Tiongson said that the PH-US Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Exercise here concluded with the formal turn-over of the completed two-classroom concrete school building at Don Joaquin Artuz Memorial School in Taft, Tapaz town.
He said that the ceremony was attended by top officials of the Armed Forced of the Philippines and United States, local government officials of Capiz, municipality and barangay as well as officials of the Department of Education, students, teachers, parents and other stakeholders.
Among those who graced the event were PH-US Balikatan 2015 Exercise Director Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, US Naval Facilities Engineering Command of the US Pacific Command Rear Admiral Bret Muilenberg, AFP Central Commander Lt Gen Nicanor Vivar, 3ID Commander Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Philippine Army’s 53rd Engineering Brigade Commander Colonel Arnold Rafael Depakakibo, Governor Victor Tanco, Tapaz Mayor Rosemarie Gardose and Capiz Schools Division Superintendent Miguel Mac Aposin, he said.
Tiongson said that aside from the construction of the school building in barangay Taft, the team likewise repaired and repainted the classrooms of San Nicolas National High School in San Nicolas, Tapaz town.
Part of the Balikatan exercise here was the conduct of disaster response and preventive health seminars in order to empower local communities in disaster preparedness, response, relief and rehabilitation.
Earlier, some members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, military personnel from the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and reservists from the 6th Regional Community Defense were trained by the troop on Basic First Responders Training.
A similar training was likewise conducted for health personnel, social workers, barangay volunteers and some residents of barangays San Nicolas and Taft in Tapaz town.
On the other hand, government and school officials, including the parents and students have expressed profound gratitude to the US and Philippine military troops their humanitarian assistance for the people here. (JCM/JBG/PIA6-Capiz)