MABALACAT -- The Rotary Club of Mabalacat on Sunday created the Rotary Community Corps (RCC) of Northville 16 in a bid to empower and provide social services to residents of the relocation site.

According to president Tony Shilton of Rotary Club of Mabalacat, the move is in conjunction with this year's Rotary International theme of "Building Communities and Bridging Continents" that aims to establish socio-civic grassroots partners in communities were Rotary operates. A Rotary Community Corps (RCC) is a group of volunteers who don’t belong to a Rotary club but share Rotary’s values and commitment. Under the guidance and support of a sponsor Rotary club, RCC members put their own skills to work to improve the quality of life in their communities.

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The Northville 16 relocation site is home to some 2,800 families from the old railroad tracks traversing the Municipality of Mabalacat. Northville 16 is located at Barangay Atlung Bola. When completed, the community will accommodate 5,729 families who were informal settlers along the old Philippine National Railways, according to the National Housing Authority (NHA). Northville 16 has a total land area of 26 hectares.

Shilton said that he met several times with the members of Northville 16 community to organize them into a proactive sector. Prime mover in the organization of the group is Edward Manansala from Clark Development Corporation who was later on unanimously elected as President of the organization with the active participation and guidance of Rose Williams who is also the Livelihood and Community Development officer of NHA.

The newly elected officers and board of directors were formally inducted by Shilton during the Club's meeting at Garden Dine Restaurant in Angeles City, Sunday.

Shilton pledged to support the group with Rotary Club’s numerous projects like additional street lights, installation of 5 deep well pumps, supplemental feeding for malnourished children, free cataract surgeries, free wheelchairs and prosthesis for amputees, medical and dental missions, establishment of Botika sa Barangay, birthing clinic, livelihood /vocational training programs, clean and green campaign and solid waste management. (Ian Ocampo Flora)