Mindanao benefits from US-AFP joint programs, projects
by Ophelia S. Mandokita
Cagayan de Oro City (9 February) -- "Our mission here has resulted in the creation of over 300 jobs for Filipinos," said USLt. Col. Joe Allegretti, Public Action Officer of the Joint Special Operation Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) based in Zamboanga City.
He disclosed that the implementation of several of their projects and programs in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has made a significant contributed to the economy of the Philippines and uplifted the lives of the people.
"Looking at the success of the partnership since 2008, the AFP and the US forces did some fantastic teamwork which directly benefited the people of Southern Philippines, of which AFP leading its way," he added.
According to Allegretti, mainly in 2008, the AFP-US team delivered over 70 infrastructure projects worth over 250 million pesos which include school buildings, roads, wharfs, water wells and other structures that benefit the people and the communities of Southern Philippines.
The group also provided free medical and dental care to over 20,000 patients including the Balikatan excersises in 2008.
In the same year, the Philippine Security Forces, military and Police kept the terrorists under pressure and on the run, it also disrupted terrorists attacks and neutralized several members of Al-Qaeda-linked organizations.
Countless lives have been saved through the security forces.
"We stand together with the Philippines and its security, shoulder-to-shoulder for peace, stability and prosperity, as we have a big history of supporting and sharing information with the AFP.The Republic of the Phils is our longest standing ally and partner in the Pacific as such our close bilateral relationship continues to grow," said Allegretti.
Base in 2008 accomplishment report, the programs and projects include medical dental civic action program (MEDCAP), subject matter expert exchange(SMEE), and the engineering civic action program (ENCAP).
To date, two school buildings were turned over to Kawit village elementary school and Kauswagan Central Elementary School, both of Kauswagan town, Lanao del Norte. (Radyo ng Bayan) [top]