The recently concluded Balikatan Exercise 2015 left Palawan and Panay with calamity-resistant classrooms. Armed Forces of the Philippines, United States Armed Forces and Australian Defense Force soldiers worked shoulder-to-shoulder to build eight classrooms in Palawan and two classrooms in Panay.
“The United States remains committed in its friendship to the Republic of the Philippines. These classrooms are testaments of everyone involved in its building,” Commodore James Meyer of US Navy said during a turn-over ceremony at Sta. Lourdes Elementary School in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
“As the soldiers are preparing to part ways as Balikatan wraps up, we are not just leaving behind a school, not just memories. We are leaving behind friendships – friendships that would stand the tests of time – We’ll be leaving a part of our hearts behind,” Commodore Meyer added.
“Let us remember our soldiers from the AFP, US Armed Forces and Australian Defense Forces as the builders of peace, builders of progress, builders of development and, most of all, builders of hope,” WESCOM commander and BK 15 Exercise Director Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez said.
Building of classrooms through Humanitarian and Civic Assistance was a part of Balikatan 2015.