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PIA Press Release

KBP improves condition of barangay recipients in Palawan

Puerto Princesa City (29 September) -- Aiming to achieve sustainable peace and development in the community, the Western Command (WESCOM), through the 514th Engineering Construction Battalion, Philippine Army implemented the first set of Kalayaan sa Barangay Program (KBP) in Barangay Macarascas and Barangay San Rafael, Puerto Princesa City; Barangay Villa Libertad, El Nido and Pag-asa, Kalayaan.

The KBP projects included the rehabilitation of school buildings and barangay roads and repair of water and electrical system.

A teacher in the elementary school at Barangay Macarascas expressed her gratitude for revamping their school building that desperately needed a repair.

She recalled instances when she had to suspend the class during rainy season because the roof of the school building leaked.

"This is a great help to us and to our students here. The work you have done here will benefit not only the current set of students studying here, but also many more others who will come to study here in the future. Thank you very much to the KBP and the WESCOM soldiers," the teacher gratefully conveyed.

Besides the restoration of their old school building, the barangay road of Macarascas has also been rehabilitated.

Barangay Villa Libertad in the municipality of El Nido, Palawan also benefitted from the KBP by having its school building repaired. Through the same program, soldiers fixed the water system of Barangay San Rafael, Puerto Princesa City and the electrical system of Pag-asa Island in the municipality of Kalayaan.

The program is being spearheaded by the AFP's National Development Support Command and supervised by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP), aimed to address the root cause of the problem of insurgency and rebellion by helping the community achieve economic development through the projects.

The completed projects were later turned over to the respective recipients for utilization and maintenance.

KBP Benefits more Barangays, Improves Welfare of more Palawenyos

Residents of Barangay Langogan, Puerto Princesa City could remember the time when they still had to go to the city proper of Puerto Princesa, travelling along dusty (muddy during rainy days) unpaved roads that are unlit during the nights just to avail of the most basic of the health services that they need.

Their source of water had also been one of the major problems of their barangay.

School children recall holding their classes in a very old and dilapidated building that leaks during the rainy season.

But the Kalayaan sa Barangay Program (KBP), a national program for peace and development implemented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), solved all these problems.

The Western Command (WESCOM), through the Naval Engineer Task Group-Palawan, constructed a health center and a school building, installed a water cistern tank, put up street lights and rehabilitated one kilometer of the portion of the barangay road of Barangay Langogan.

"Now we do not have to travel all the way to the city (proper of Puerto Princesa) just to have a simple check-up because we already have our own health center here, thanks to the KBP and to the soldiers of the WESCOM," one resident of Barangay Macarascas enthused.

A teacher at the elementary school in the barangay also expressed his gratitude for the new school building that has been constructed in their school through the KBP.

He shared that their school building was built way back in the Marcos era and it's already really old.

The KBP projects implemented in Barangay Langogan were only a part of the second set of the national peace and development program aimed at combating the root cause of the insurgency problem.

Various other projects, suited to the needs of the beneficiary barangay, were constructed in Barangay Marufinas in Puerto Princesa City; Barangay Antonino Roxas, Palawan; Barangay Caruray, San Vicente, Palawan; and three barangays in Dumaran, Palawan also benefited from the KBP.

"The KBP projects are a great contribution to our barangay, particularly the hanging footbridge which we have been wanting for a long time. The temporary footbridge we lay down always gets washed away by the flood. Through the AFP, one of the dreams of the residents of Barangay Ilian has been realized," said Hon. Criselda M. Aurello, Chairman of Barangay Ilian, Dumaran.

The second set of completed projects implemented under the KBP amounted to a total of P31 million.

The WESCOM, now under the leadership of Major General Juancho M. Sabban, said these projects were the tangible manifestation of its dedication to bring development and progress in the society through peaceful community-based process.

"Through these projects, and through the efforts of our soldiers, we have shown the people that the government is serious in its task to improve their welfare," MGen Sabban said. (PIA) [top]

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