The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in partnership with GMA Kapuso Foundation (GMA KF) turned over two classrooms with comfort rooms, and a 40-meter hanging bridge to the local government of Salvador, Lanao del Norte in a ceremony held Friday, October 9.
The AFP Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay graced the inauguration activity where he lauded the GMA KF for initiating the project that would bring further development in the area.
“The joint project not only brought new infrastructure in the area, it also gave the people of Salvador, Lanao del Norte new hope for a more peaceful and developed community in the future,” General Gapay said.
The AFP partnered with GMA KF headed by Executive Vice President and COO Rikki Escudero-Catibog in February 2020 to build facilities in areas of Zamboanga City and Lanao del Norte. The initiative which was also carried out together with the Department of Education aimed to bring development in the country’s geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
The 55th Engineering Brigade provided support in the construction and security of two classrooms and two toilet facilities in Pamsur Primary School which will benefit around 200 students. The 54th Engineering Brigade on the other hand took charge of the 40-meter cable suspended steel and concrete hanging bridge in Salvador. They also provided additional manpower to build two classrooms with two toilet facilities in Cabatangan, Zamboanga City.
Also tapped to provide manpower support and security were the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, 5th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, and 547th Engineering Battalion all under Task Force ZAMPELAN of the Western Mindanao Command.
“The AFP is grateful to everyone who took part in this project especially the GMA Kapuso Foundation, their donors and partners, as well as to the local government of Salvador. The bridges that we built are manifestations of our unity as one Filipino nation towards achieving lasting peace and development for the country,” General Gapay said.
The inauguration ceremony featured ribbon cutting, unveiling of inaugural marker and turnover of ceremonial key. Among the attendees were WESTMINCOM Commander Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan, 1st Infantry Division Commander Major General Generoso Ponio, 2nd Mechanized Brigade Commander Brigadier General Facundo Palafox IV, 54th Engineering Brigade Commander Brigadier General Tony Cacayuran, Salvador Mayor Farhanie Tawantawan, and Lanao del Norte Schools Division Superintendent Edilberto Oplenaria.
“It is the desire of the AFP to promote peace and development in all parts of the country. Projects like these are of significant help in the attainment of our mandated task to protect the best interest of the Filipino people and secure the sovereignty of the state,” General Gapay said.