Philippine, US troops build classrooms

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Philippine and United States soldiers joined forces in constructing classrooms in Central Luzon provinces as part of the Balikatan 2011 civic military action program.

A two-classroom building was built over the weekend at the Pedro L. Quines Elementary School, Mayantoc, Tarlac Province.

The classrooms and other school equipment supplies like desks, chairs, bags, shoes, and others will be officially turned over on Monday, April 11, coinciding with the turnover ceremony of the United States Assistance to International Development (USAid) and Balikatan 2011 (BK11) donated items.


This program is the first out of the three major exercises included in BK11 that aim to strengthen both Philippine and US armed forces' interoperability.

Engineering Civic Action Program (Encap), medical, dental, veterinary and community relation programs are all part of the Civic Military Operations that the Balikatan 2011 is conducting. All of which aim at helping and giving service to the people in need.

Aside from extending their help to the people, these actions fulfilled one of the aims of BK11, which is to strengthen the camaraderie and teamwork of soldiers from both countries.

"Sharing struggles create bonds and make us more friends," said Public Information Officer Captain Stacy Reidinger of the US Marine.

Reidinger said Filipino and American soldiers are hand in hand in constructing the school building. She added the activity showed how much the military cares for the people with the importance they are giving to education.

"Education is vital for it creates opportunity," she said.

Colonel Harold N. Cabreros, co-head of the Civic Military Operation in Pedro L. Quines Elementray School, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States Air Force coordinated with the Department of Education in deciding which sites are in need of the humanitarian assistance.

Other classroom buildings are set to be constructed in Barangays San Antonio and Candelaria in Zambales.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 10, 2011.

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