By Roy Mabasa
United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the Navy Seabees, and their counterparts in the Philippine Navy have inaugurated a two-room classroom they built together in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
The joint effort is geared to provide a much-needed schoolhouse for the Malatgao National Elementary School in Palawan, which will be utilized by over 120 students in the locality, according to US Navy LT. Joshua Moore.
“We are proud to assist this community working hand-in-hand with our Filipino counterparts,” he said.
In the last four years, the Seabees have completed 24 humanitarian projects across the Philippines that include single- and double-room classrooms, water catchment systems, multipurpose school huts, and multipurpose communal buildings.
Such construction operations jointly conducted by the Philippine Navy, the US Navy Seabees, the Philippine Marines, and the local barangays serve to strengthen the US-Philippine partnership, said a statement from the US Embassy in Manila.
This was echoed by Apprentice Fireman Construction Electrician Joel Nioda from Zamboanga City who said: “I think working with US troops will make our alliance stronger and continue to increase our bonds for years to come. This will help unify and grow our bilateral relationship.”
Since 2016, the US Navy Seabees construction projects for Philippine communities are valued at more than P100 million ($1.9 million).