US Marines brings benefits to local community
The Marines and sailors of the Okinawa-based 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade along with the Philippine Navy will be conducting civil-military operations in San Juan to provide the residents with free medical and dental care. Engineers from both services are teaming up with local laborers to construct a multipurpose building at the municipality’s public cemetery in preparation for the annual All Saints’ Day celebration.
“We have been planning this project (multipurpose building) for awhile but haven’t been able to start it because of limited resources,” said Lugil S. Ragadio, the vice mayor of San Antonio.
According to Ragadio, the facility will provide more convenience for visitors to the cemetery, especially during the celebration.
“The building will be a great help,” said Rizaluz Lobriguito, a local resident, who will be attending the medical and dental clinics. “I will no longer have to go back and forth between the cemetery and home during the celebration.”
The construction and medical clinics will also provide secondary benefits to some residents.
“All the people coming for the construction and clinics will help improve my business and provide more income,” said local storeowner Irene L. Canoaizado, mother of three, whose husband is working overseas.
Canoaizado said the extra income would assist in the tuition of her oldest child who is attending college.
A community relations project, which consist of providing donations to the San Juan Elementary School will also occur.
“The principal made a list of all the school’s needs and submitted it,” said Crisanta E. Fabunan, a teacher at the school. “We where so happy when we found out the donations were coming.”
“The donations will be a great help to the children,” said Adoracion M. Torres, the president of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association. “It’s also a great help for the parents because instead of buying school supplies they will have more money for other needs.”
Aside from benefiting the Filipinos of San Juan, the Philippine-US forces will participate in numerous other civil-military operations and community relations projects in provinces of Zambales, Pampanga, Nueva Ecjia and Palawan.
The annual exercises are designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness, and continue professional relationships between the U.S. and Philippines Armed Forces. The exercises will officially begin Oct. 16.
U.S. Marine Capt. Burrell Parmer, the U.S. exercise public affairs officer of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, meets with 1st grade students and teacher Mrs. Adoracion N. Beltran at the San Juan Elementary School in Barangay San Juan, San Antonio, Zambales, Oct. 6, 2006. The school will be host to a medical/dental civic action project and the recipient of donations provided by the U.S. Marines during the annual bilateral training exercises, Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) FY 2007. Marines and sailors of the Japan-based 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Essex Expeditionary Strike Group will take part in the two-weeklong exercises along with units from each service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.