Thursday, January 21, 2010

Collaborative Efforts Results in New Facilities, Road in Southern Philippines

A new birthing clinic, elementary school, and a road are among the most recent projects to be completed in the southern Philippines through the cooperative efforts of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and local officials.

On Jan. 14, the school, which will accommodate 250 students, and the road in Sulu province were turned over during a ceremony. The school was constructed primarily by U.S. Navy civil engineers (Seabees) with security provided by AFP Marines. The five-kilometer road was build by local contractors with funding from JSOTF-P.

A birthing center was dedicated in Zamboanga City, also on Jan. 14. The four-room facility will provide low-cost prenatal and postpartum care. The clinic is also designed to accommodate normal deliveries and provide immunizations for young children. Mein College, which is managing the clinic, has a long history of partnership with the AFP and JSOTF-P. “The opening of this clinic will be a huge benefit for the people and families using this facility. But, it is also a victory in Zamboanga in that it represents what is possible when responsible citizens and organizations collaborate for the good of the community,” said JSOTF-P’s Chief of Staff Air Force Lt. Col. David Smith.

A variety of community ogranizations provided support during the two-year development of the birthing center, including the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command, Naval Forces Western Mindanao, and JSOTF-P.

At the request of the Government of the Philippines, JSOTF-P provides support to the AFP in several areas, including enhancing the AFP’s ability to provide humanitarian assistance to terrorist-inflicted communities, and through tactical training programs.For the latest updates on JSOTF-P and it’s collaboration with AFP, follow the command on Twitter, or on its website.

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