Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Army camp in Leyte rebuilds facilities nine months after ‘Yolanda’

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 19): Army camp in Leyte rebuilds facilities nine months after ‘Yolanda’

Nine months after super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ hit Leyte, the camp of the 19th Infantry Battalion based in Aguiting village in Kananga, Leyte province has finally rebuilt their facilities, bared battalion commander Col. Nedy Espulgar.

A total of 18 structures that were made of light materials were reconstructed to include the administration building, officers’ quarters, motorpool, office, chapel, supply room, mess hall, fuel station, kiosks, firing range, among others.

Col. Espulgar disclosed the camp turned “ground zero” after the typhoon wherein all of the facilities were flattened.

However, the situation did not prevent them from continuing their sworn service of “serving the people.”

Immediately after the typhoon, the soldiers were one of those on the frontline services that responded to the communities, aside from continuously protecting the people from threats of insurgency and providing livelihood.

For a time, they set aside their camp rehabilitation and temporarily settled themselves in a tent and makeshift barracks that were made with the assistance of the Australian defense force.

In January this year, the rebuilding works of the camp facilities started utilizing funds from their own resources and aid from Australian defense force that provided logs.

The blessing and inauguration of the newly-built camp marker was graced by Major General Jet Velarmino, 8th Infantry Division Commanding General based in Camp Lucban, Catbalogan City.

He commended the leadership of Col. Espulgar saying the achievement “bespeak the unity and professionalism of the 19th IB’s officers and enlisted men that displayed the competence of the battalion as a whole.”

He further said that “the challenge faced by this unit is actually doubled – to rebuild this place and the much bigger challenge of performing and living by the sworn duty of ever soldier as stipulated in the army core purpose: serving the people securing the land. The rebuilding of the place is an inspiration that proves life’s realities that despite the odds there are always better ways to start a better beginning.”

Claretian missionary Fr. Christopher B. Ligason blessed all the facilities, including the vehicles and the armory.


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