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Military donates books to poverty-stricken schools in Palawan

Published: Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Camp General Artemio Ricarte, Puerto Princesa City (May 21) -- Troops of the Palawan-based Air Force and Navy have joined hands in helping the poverty-stricken students of ten elementary schools in Palawan and four in rural Puerto Princesa City.

This, by donating computer sets and new books for their decrepit mini-libraries, and helping in the repair, repainting and maintenance of classrooms on a week-long activity starting Monday (May 20) and is expected to end by Friday.

Troops from the 570th Composite Tactical Wing and the Naval Forces West carried the computers and books, and traveled through poorly maintained dirt roads on May 20, on a mission called "Books For Peace", Maj. Oliver Bañaria PAF, commander of the 6th Civil Relations Group at the Western Command, said.



Bañaria said the Books For Peace is in conjuction with the military participation to Brigada Eskwela and was made possible through the support from various stakeholders and civilian partners of the above-mentioned military formation.

“Books For Peace” donated the books simultaneously at a short ceremony in their respected campuses with a film showing and school repair, repainting and maintenance at the following public elementary schools: Salvacion in Busuanga; Mabini in El Nido; Cataban in Taytay; Silanga and Tagusao in Quezon; Panitian and Pulot Interior in Sofronio Española; Aribungos and Mainit in Brooke's Point; Pag-asa in Kalayaan;and Sta. Fe, Manalo, Bahile and Palawan National School in Puerto
Princesa City.

Dr. Servillano Arzaga, Palawan DepEd schools division superintendent,receiving the books said they fitted well into the needs of the pre-identified school-beneficiaries.

"These computer sets and books would enrich the students' learning and is really a big help for the schools in general. We are very thankful for our soldiers who took down their rifles and combat boots to help us out. They are really a great help in the schools," Arzaga said.

Meanwhile, the soldiers, after immersing themselves with various activities such as cleaning classrooms, sorting files, and playing with the children - recognize that different stakeholders should render their support for our schools as there is very limited funding given to them for repair work. As partners in the educational arena,
everyone is encouraged to mobilize their own circle of friends to participate in this endeavor and help in preparing public schools for the opening of classes.

"Through the military participation in this activity, we learned that doing things together is more fun. Even if we worked for only one day, we realize that our participation was meaningful most especially in the lives of students who deserve to be in a conducive environment for learning," Lt. Stanlee Vince Gonzaga PN, commander of the Navy's Civil Military Operations Unit-West (CMOU-West). Moreover, Gonzaga said they experienced and expressed the spirit of Bayanihan. They were actively involved in simple ways to contribute to the development of this country.

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