By MCC Kim Martinez, NMCB 1 Public Affairs
In the spirit of “tapat na kalooban,” the Tagalog phrase for goodwill, the Seabees and Philippine Army soldiers are building a two-classroom extension for a local to accommodate more students.
“This project is important and very much appreciated by the local population since this school’s total population is about 400 high school and 200 lower level students,” said Capt. Espargia, Philippine Army 53rd Engineering Construction Brigade team leader for the Bayanihan Carcar City, Cebu. “If you see the make-shift building that the high school is currently using, it is not conducive to learning, so the population is very thankful for the Seabees’ upcoming project.”
Espargia said that the team’s impact will not only be from the actual work completed at the school, but also through their presence and interaction with the local Filipinos.
“Our team is very willing to assist the U.S. Navy Seabees in order to bring these projects to the city of Carcar, Cebu,” said Espargia. “The [people] here, from time to time, come onsite just to see our personnel and the Seabees working together. The community is excited to see the structures rise. The school and the structures will become a memorial gift to us from the U.S. Navy.”
NMCB 1 is also partnering with the Cebu City Police to make additions to their marksmanship course by constructing training concealment barriers at their Cebu City base.
“We focus on intelligence security operations for our area. Our partnership with the Seabees will benefit us a lot because the tactics and techniques will help enhance our training,” said Police Senior Inspector Joeson Parallag, Regional Public Safety Battalion 7. “For us in the military and the police, we see our support from [Seabees] and how it will help us to improve at our job and what we do for our people.”
“It is a privilege for us to work with the Americans for the betterment of the nation of the Philippines, especially since President Obama said, we have historically worked together for the greater good of our nations,” said Police Inspector Irvin Vellen, company commander and officer-in-charge, Regional Public Safety Battalion 7. “Your work on our base will help us acquire knowledge from your style of marksmanship and we are thankful for your help.”
NMCB 1 CCAD Philippines Seabees share their host nation’s excitement about the opportunity to work together and aim to achieve common goals through partnership and collaboration.