To provide better classrooms for poor children, Filipino soldiers work hand in hand with their American counterparts in constructing an additional school building for the Pag-asa Elementary School in an upland community in Barangay Pag-asa, Orani, Bataan.

The school building construction is just one of the humanitarian and civic assistance projects of Engineering Capability Program under the Philippines–United States Balikatan Exercise, a yearly joint activity of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and United States Armed Forces.

Filipino soldiers mostly from the 355th Wing of the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Army, and the Philippine Navy are taking part in the construction of a one-storey, two classroom-building.

The construction, which began last March 12 and scheduled to be completed on April 12, 2019, will benefit more than 300 school children.

“The partnership between the countries involved in this activity creates change not only in transforming the Philippine Army but also in shaping the environment,” said Lt. Col. Felix Emeterio Valdez, acting Battalion Commander of 48th Infantry (Guardians) Battalion.

“We are looking forward that this project would enhance and develop a peaceful place for education and learning,” Lt. Col. Valdez said.

Aside from the construction of the school building in Orani, Bataan, Filipino and American soldiers are also renovating school buildings in Laguna and Batangas provinces.

(Top right inset photo credit: U.S. Army Balikatan file photo by Sgt. Marty Borton)