DARAGA, July 8 (PNA) -- United States Navy Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar of US Naval Command led on Friday the turnover ceremony of a two-classroom building to a public school in Kinawitan, Daraga in Albay.
The school building is part of the Humanitarian Mission of the ongoing Pacific Partnership 2016 in the province of Albay.
Starting her speech in the Filipino langauage, Bolivar greeted the Albayanos, specially the students of Kinawitan school: “Magandang hapon at mabuhay kayo lahat”.
"Thank you for the honor for having me here today, as well as the unveiling of the recent renovation and construction of the classroom here in your school," she continued.
Bolivar said for the Pacific Partnership 2016, the Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP) affords them another great opportunity to build a poster relationship with the Filipino community.
Bolivar added, “Para sa atin mga kabatan at sa atin kinabukasan” (for our children and for our future) over the last month and a half, engineers from the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, Guam National Guard and Hawaii National Guard and our Philippine Counterpart Army worked together to construct these new buildings and with rest rooms and renovated other existing classrooms to accommodate Kinawitan growing students population.
Now, the students have designated classrooms that will improve the learning environment, Bolivar said.
The project will not just benefit the students but also the residents of the area for it will also serve as a shelter during any natural disaster, a safe haven for the families seeking help or shelter from any catastrophe, she emphasized.
Phil. Army Lt. Col Baylon Aler of the Army Engineering Brigade in an interview with Philippines News Agency said for the engineering component of the project, the joint team of engineers finished construction works of two-classrooms building with comfort rooms including repair works of other classrooms in barangays Cotmon, in Camalig, Kinawitan in Daraga and a water tank and lavatory in Mabini Elementary school in barangay Mabini, Daraga all in Albay.
Bolivar, a Bicolana by blood, is the first Filipino Fil-Am Admiral in the US Naval Command.
She entered the Naval Academy with the blessing of her father Teddy and mother Virginia, both Filipinos. Her father is from Nabua, Camarines Sur while her mother hails from Pangasinan. Bolivar said she was raised in a traditional Filipino household.
The two-week Pacific Partnership 2016 humanitarian and disaster relief preparedness mission that will last until July 11 has ongoing medical, dental services, including construction and repair of school buildings in poor villages of Camalig, Daraga, and the cities of Legazpi, Tabaco and Ligao.
Pacific Partnership is an annual deployment of forces from the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy (USN), in cooperation with regional governments and military forces, along with humanitarian and non-government organizations. (PNA) LAP/CBD