JOINT FORCES. Filipino and American soldiers are jointly constructing a school building in an upland village in Orani, Bataan under the Philippine-US Balikatan Exercise. (Photo by Ernie Esconde)
ORANI, Bataan -- American and Filipino soldiers are now almost halfway in constructing an additional school building for the Pag-asa Elementary School in an upland village here.
The project is one of the humanitarian and civic assistance undertakings under the Philippines–United States Balikatan Exercise which will officially be held April 1-12.
Taking part in the construction of a one-storey, two classroom-building in Barangay Pag-asa are members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, specifically from the PAF’s 355th Wing and their American counterparts.
The construction began last March 12 and is set to be finished on April 12 this year.
Roberto Surait, Grade 6 teacher of Pag-asa Elementary School, said they have more than 300 pupils in the school.
“May 48 – 51 pupils ang bawat classroom namin kaya kailangang-kailangan ang additional classroom. Suwerte kami at kami ang nabigyan ng Balikatan (There are 48 to 51 pupils in our every classroom, that is why there is a need for an additional classroom. We are lucky that we were given by the Balikatan),” he said.
Surait said construction of the sturdy and nice building is fast.
The said facility is one of the two projects included in the Engineering Capability Program activities of Balikatan 35-2019.
"The partnership between the countries involved in this activity creates change not only in transforming the Philippine Army but also in shaping the environment. We are looking forward that this project would enhance and develop a peaceful place for education and learning,” said Lt. Col. Felix Emeterio Valdez, acting Battalion Commander of 48th Infantry (Guardians) Battalion, in a statement.
Aside from the construction of the school building in this town, Filipino and American soldiers are also renovating elementary schools in Laguna and Batangas provinces. (PNA)