Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City, Samar – The Commander of 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army visited the base camp of Republic of Korea Armed Forces Joint Support Group Philippines at Brgy Candahug, Palo Leyte on May 1, 2014.
Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Commander of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army visited the ROK military contingent sent by the South Korean government to help rebuild Eastern Visayas communities in response to the destruction caused by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). The South Korean Military contingent arrived in Eastern Visayas on December 28, 2013 and since then accomplished much, albeit without too much publicity.
Based on the accomplishments report presented during the visit, the ROK military contingent in tandem with Philippine Army Engineer Construction units completed the repairs and rehabilitations of 17 elementary schools, 2 hospitals, 9 other government facilities like police stations, fire stations, courthouses and ABC Halls. They also conducted fumigation at 235 barangays, treated 11,168 medical and 1,686 dental patients at the towns of Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa and Dulag all of Leyte province. Further, they have 9 on-going projects and 57 upcoming projects to be completed by December 2014.
In addition, the ROK contingent effected the removal of 16,600 tons of debris from the thoroughfares of the towns of Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa and Dulag towns as well as conducted 637 sorties delivering 9,310,000 liters of potable water in various communities of above-mentioned towns.
One heart-warming act that the ROK contingent did was their effort in looking back after the people who fought for them during the Korean War from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. The contingent repaired 9 houses of Filipino Korean War veterans whose houses were destroyed during the onslaught of super typhoon Haiyan. Based from an article posted at Philippine Information Agency website last March 2, 2014, the repair conducted on one of the three houses costs around 800, 000 pesos.
The ROK contingent also initiated a vocational training seminar for heavy equipment operation and Korean language classes in coordination with TESDA where they catered interested civilians and military personnel. The first batches of those who availed of the trainings will graduate on May 9, 2014 and the next batches will open on May 12, 2014.
Maj. Gen. Velarmino addressing the ROK contingent said, “In behalf of my men, I would like to express our condolences for the tragedy that South Korean people suffered when a cruise ship ferrying South Korean students sank last April 16, 2014.”
“I also would like to express gratitude in behalf of the people in Eastern Visayas for the repairs, rehabilitations and reconstruction efforts that greatly uplifted the well-being of the communities affected by the super typhoon, he added.”
Press Release by the 8ID, PA