More than 800 local men, women and children in the Northern Mindanao region of the Philippines received basic medical care and other services last week.
The project was as part an ongoing initiative led by the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) -- with assistance from Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines (JSOTF-P), local officials, and community volunteers -- to provide assistance to the people of Mindanao.
A JSOTF-P news story explains that this project in Lanao del Norte province included a particularly strong volunteer turnout from the region, in addition to AFP and JSOTF-P doctors, nurses, and dentists.
JSOTF-P, in a strictly non-combat role, has been assisting the AFP build its capacity to eliminate terrorist safe havens since 2002. A key to this is creating conditions that make terrorist elements unwelcome, or prevent their resurgence.
Health care and health education projects are just one dimension of this ongoing focus. For instance, since January 2008, the AFP and JSOTF-P have partnered with a variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations to provide free, basic medical & dental care to more than 20,000 patients.
JSOTF-P is comprised of 500-600 personnel from all four military services temporarily deployed to the Philippines at the request of the Philippine Government.