ARMY SUPPORTS BRIGADA ESKWELA 2012
FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – The Philippine Army joins the list of various organizations that support the Brigada Eskwela 2012 which will kick off today, (May 21), a military official said.
Major Harold M Cabunoc, the Army Spokesperson, said that Army soldiers all over the archipelago are deeply involved in the activities, such as cleaning and repairing works of school facilities, in support to the annual Brigada Eskwela program of the Department of Education.
“In Manila, the Office of the Army Chief Public Affairs (OACPA) partnered with Ericsson Philippines, Smart Communications Public Affairs, TOPSOLDIERS, and the 51st Engineering Brigade to address the requested repair works by Pateros National High School,” said Cabunoc.
Pateros is the only municipality in Metro Manila which is the smallest, both in population and in land area. It is sandwiched by two big cities, Taguig and Makati.
In the spirit of Bayanihan, various stakeholders, including the civilian community, join hands to make this year’s Brigada Eskwela a success.
The 51st Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army led by Colonel Silvino Alcabasa Jr. did not think twice when asked by Dr Norma Gacusan, the school principal of Pateros National High School, to support the various repair works in her school.
“We are very supportive of the Brigada Eskwela. For this year, we are targeting two schools. Our skilled soldiers, will be deployed in these schools in the next five days,” said Alcabasa.
Gacusan said that the outpouring support from the Army and other sponsors is overwhelming.
"You are 'heaven-sent' to us because you also brought with you some reliable partners who brought various resources with them," she said to the Army engineer representative.
Apart from the Philippine Army, the local government of Pateros, alumni of Pateros National High School, parents and students, and private companies also pledged their help in the conduct of the national schools maintenance week in Pateros.
“Philip Packard pledged to repair our malfunctioning computers, while the others donated paint and food. We will focus on repainting the school and repairing the dilapidated chairs,” said Gacusan.
“I thank the Philippine Army for their immediate response to our request. I know that we can always depend on them in times like this. When it comes, to community service, they truly deliver,” added Gacusan.
Meanwhile, the Civil Military Operations Group (CMOG), of the Philippine Army is supporting various schools located in certain areas like Taguig City, Makati City, Caloocan City, Pasay City, Marikina City and Quezon City.
“Our soldiers are tapped by the schools to help in the school maintenance program, particularly in electrical, carpentry and construction works,” said Colonel Felimon Santos, the Group Commander of CMOG, PA.
Army Chief Lieutenant General Emmanuel T Bautista has directed the major subordinate units to support the Department of Education in realizing its goal of making public school facilities ready in time for the school opening on June 4.
Brigada Eskwela is one of the civilian orchestrated projects that the Army supports as part of its 'Bayanihan activities' all over the country.
Scope of Work
Most of the repair and maintenance works requested by the school administrators during the Brigada Eskwela are carried out by parents, teachers, volunteers and NGOs.
Highly skilled soldiers who have vast experience in construction jobs are also warmly welcomed by the organizers. Their expertise in carpentry were put to good use due to the presence of dilapidated wooden armchairs, bookshelves and even some broken doors.
Volunteers, armed with brooms and mops, cleared the premises of weeds, dust and litter before repainting the walls of the school buildings.
The main goal of the Brigada Eskwela is to make the schools presentable and adequately prepared to accept the thousands of young children who will flock to school in the first week of June.
Army units nationwide are mobilized to help in the week-long school maintenance program, upon the request of their counterparts in the education department and the LGUs.
In Albay, Colonel Arthur Ang, the Commander of the 901st Brigade, said that his unit is supporting the repair works in the different schools in his area of responsibility that includes Albay and Catanduanes.
In Sorsogon, 96 schools and 48,000 students/pupils will benefit from the efforts of the Army’s 903rd Brigade in coordination with DepEd, the local government units (LGU), and various groups.
The 6th Infantry Division led by Major General Rey Ardo is conducting continuous support activities to DepEd, in partnership with the LGUs, including the construction of school buildings in many localities.
“Due to the absence of armed conflict between the Army and the MILF, soldiers of various frontline units are busy partnering with DepEd in its programs, such as the construction of buildings that will cater to the young children in conflict areas. We have been doing this even before the start of the Brigada Eskwela,” said Lieutenant Colonel Febie N Lamerez, Civil Military Operations (CMO) Officer of said unit.