Filipino and American soldiers started the construction of school buildings in different areas in Northern Luzon on March 7 as part of this year’s Republic of the Philippines-United States (RP-US) Exercise Balikatan 37-2022.
The building of schools is part of the Engineering Civic Action Program (ENCAP) being conducted before the official opening of the RP-US Balikatan Exercise on March 28. The activity is undertaken by engineering units and personnel from both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and U.S. Armed Forces (USAF) to improve the infrastructure of local communities.
Ground-breaking ceremonies were held in Masi Elementary School in Rizal; and in Taggat Sur Elementary School and Pinas Elementary School all in Claveria, Cagayan. Another beneficiary is San Francisco Elementary School in Alicia, Isabela.
Balikatan is an annual military exercise between the AFP and the U.S. Armed Forces that is focused on strengthening the interoperability of both forces for mutual defense, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response.
Aside from the ENCAP, both forces will also participate in the joint training, live-fire exercise, information exchange, and other exercises during the duration of the Balikatan from Mach 28 to April 8, 2022.