PHL-US ‘Balikatan 2014’ also a tool in improving countryside communities

By on May 18, 2014

MANILA — Aside from improving the military capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippines-United States “Balikatan 2014” exercises conducted from May 5 to 16 was also useful in improving the plight of countryside communities.

This was stressed by Lt. (SG) Annaleah P. Cazcarro, Combined Joint Information co-director of the 30th Balikatan, in a statement on Sunday.

She said that this was exemplified in the Bicol region where troops from the AFP Southern Luzon Command took the lead in the construction of a health center, two-room classroom building, water catchment system and concreting of sidewalk in Malobago Elementary School, Barangay Malobago and another one-room school building in Doña Mercedes Elementary School, all in Guinobatan, Albay.

“The installation of water storage tank and construction of a public rest room also benefitted the residents of Barangay Pawa, Legazpi City. The troops also repaired and renovated parts of Tamaoyan Elementary School in Barangay Tamaoyan, Legazpi City,” she added.

Besides these projects, combined Army and Navy troops from AFP and U.S. Armed Forces likewise constructed and renovated school buildings, offered medical and veterinary services, and conducted medical symposia and training in Legazpi City and Guinobatan.

A total of 65 personnel from the AFP and 94 from joint U.S. and multinational forces participated in the events.

Cazcarro said the partnership between the AFP and U.S. Armed Forces continue to be healthy, dynamic and beneficial.

“It continues to highlight the unswerving commitment of both military forces towards a more secure Asia-Pacific region,” she added.

“As we conclude this year’s Balikatan Exercises, we look forward to more joint bilateral military exercises and undertakings that will help the AFP in coping with our ever evolving security environment and achieve our goal of a minimum credible defense system,” Cazcarro stressed.