"Bag at Notebook Mo, Sagot ng Sundalo Mo" Troops delight pupils with back-to-school gifts

Published: Sunday, 02 June 2013

Camp Artemio Ricarte, Puerto Princesa City (June 1) -- Troops surprised pupils from two public elementary schools in rural barangays of Puerto Princesa when they brought backpacks stuffed with the needed school supplies a week before schools open. School heads were as pleasantly surprised when they were handed a computer set and garbage bins.

The donations were given to help the school with much needed items that are required throughout the school year in Maoyon Elementary School and Babuyan Central School, said Air Force major Oliver Bañaria, acting civil military operations chief or U7. 


"These donations really helps us parents because of the staggering prices of school supplies," said Elmer Magdayao, president of the parents-teachers association of Maoyon Elementary School. "We really appreciate the efforts of the Western Command."

By and large, the new supplies will help the children with their studies.

"The best thing that I like is our kids are doing good and they are getting an education here," Magdayao said.  "The teachers are teaching them good education and we am really happy with that."

The computer set was one of the many computer sets donated by the Quezon City-based Rotary Club of Loyola Heights, while the garbage bins were recycled empty fuel drums of the Palawan-based Air Force, the 570th Composite Tactical Wing. The Palawan-based Armed Forces Western Command, on the other hand, donated the back packs, school supplies and pairs of new slippers through the U7 office.

"We are very grateful for the donations from the Western Command," said Elma G. Bungar, principal of Maoyon Elementary School. "We have children here that live in poverty, come to school without school supplies and are less fortunate than other kids that have parents that work."

"Donating those school supplies to these schools made me feel good because we're able to help them out in a time of need," said Army Staff Sergeant Arnel Corpuz, a non-commissioned officer under the 6th Civil Relations Group where Maj. Banaria is assigned as commander. "The Western Command tries to do this every year before school starts, and we also help out with their tree planting, classroom repair and repainting, and other programs that we supply volunteers for."

When military units are active in the community, it helps foster great working relationships.

Corpuz said, "Programs like this strengthen the bond between the military installations and the local community and this is one of the reasons that we participate."

"Maoyon Elementary School would like to thank the Western Command and the 6CRG," said Bungar. "They have always been there for us and we can always depend on them and its units. Gen. Rustico Guerrero (Wescom chief) and Maj. Oliver Banaria have always been dedicated to helping us and we're very appreciative of this." 

The activity was part of the "Bag at Notebook Mo, Sagot ng Sundalo Mo" project of the civil military operations unit of the Western Command.

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