From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 12): PP16’s ENCAP benefits grade schools of Albay
Weeks of hard work finally paid off for the US Navy’s Construction Battalion (USCB) after seeing the thankful faces of the pupils of Kinawitan Elementary School. Last July 8, worn out but satisfied, the “SeaBees” (USCB) were among those who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the classrooms they constructed in the said school.
“This is what we’re here for, we do it for the kids,” said USN Capt. Brian Vickers, the project manager for the Engineering and Civic Assistance Program (ENCAP), one of the main humanitarian programs constituting the 2016 Pacific Partnership (PP16) missions.
The ENCAP aims to enhance friendship, capacity and cooperation among allied nations by initiating construction projects that will benefit underprivileged communities.
Though the main continent body arrived in the Philippines last June 27, members of the “SeaBees” (USCB) have already been in the country as early as the middle of May to begin the constructions of school facilities. Three schools of Albay has been chosen to be beneficiaries of the ENCAP, namely Kinawitan Elementary School and Mabini Elementary School of Daraga, and Comun Elementary School of Camalig.
During the ribbon-cutting and turn-over rites of the new school building in Kinawitan Elementary, Capt. Vickers and his men were all smiles with what they have accomplished. Going above and beyond their initial plan, they also conducted renovations and repair on other buildings of the school.
“The original plan was just to build the new classrooms. But, when we saw the conditions of the other building, we had to do something,” said Vickers, referring a classroom with a rotten off roof which they replaced with a new steel roof.
Cutting the ribbon for the said ceremony is Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar, commander of the US Navy’s Joint Region Marianas and the only female of Bicolano-descent to be of the said rank in the US Navy. On her speech, Bolivar said that she could only hope the classrooms lasts for a long time as it serves as a testament that much could be achieved through cooperation and love for the common good.