BARANGAY MARNAY, SINAIT, Republic of the Philippines (March 12, 2010) --
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) servicemembers and Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 31 (CLB-31), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), held an opening ceremony for an engineering civil affairs project (ENCAP) at Marnay Primary School, in support of exercise Balikatan 2010 (BK’10), March 5.
Local community leaders, school staff, students and military officials attended the ceremony that marked the renovation of a two-room classroom.
Col. Eduardo Collado, a commander of AFP with the Joint Civil-Military Operations Task Force, noted that renovation project was an important one that would benefit the people in the community in the years to come.
Anita Advincula, an officer-in-charge and teacher at Marnay Primary School, echoed the AFP commander by saying, “This is a great project that will help our community, especially the children.”
The children, being the key beneficiary’s of the project and future leaders of the community, will now have more real estate to continue their studies.
Maj. Peter Forsythe, executive officer for CLB-31, said, “Our primary purpose here is to double the size of this school and once we get done this school will go from kindergarten to 6th grade.”
The governments of the Republic of the Philippines and the U.S. have a long relationship of working together. This partnership includes a 58-year mutual defense treaty.
Collado said, “The U.S. and Republic of the Philippines have a very long and harmonious relationship.”
Marines are also building bridges of friendship and good relations with the local Filipino communities.
Advincula said, “The children will always remember the Marines.”
The 15 Philippine Marines, with Engineering Landing Support Company (ELSC), Service Support Battalion (SS BN), Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) and 30 servicemembers with CLB-31 will continue to work side-by-side to complete the renovation by March 16.