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Army builds classrooms for Mangyan school in Mindoro

SAN JOSE, Occidental Mindoro (PIA) -- The Philippine Army has completed the construction of a two-classroom schoolhouse in Sitio Mantay in Barangay Monteclaro inSan Jose, Occidental Mindoro that will benefit the Mangyan community.

The classrooms were built to decongest an existing classroom that is being used by 85 students.

The Philippine Army Finance Center Producers Integrated Cooperative (PAFCPIC) donated P158,000 to fund the construction while the provincial and the municipal governments provided building materials. 

On the other hand, the residents together with soldiers from the 68th Infantry Battalion worked together to do the actual labor.

Sangbay Day-om, sitio leader of Sitio Mantay expressed his gratitude on behalf of the community.

“Masaya lang din isipin na nakakarating sa amin itong mga ganitong proyekto sa aming lugar (It is joyful to think that a project like this reached our community),” he added.

The students in the area are learning through the Department of Education’s E-IMPACT Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) program, which allows them to study remotely while still being enrolled in the nearest elementary school in their area-- the Taganop Elementary School.

The residents of Sitio Mantay and soldiers from the 68th Infantry Battalion worked together for the construction of the classrooms. (Photo courtesy of Cpt. Ersel Filipinas, 68th Infantry Battalion)

Volunteer teachers from Socio-economic Uplift, Literacy, Anthropological, and Developmental Services (SULADS) also render their services to teach children. Currently, there are four elementary grade levels in the Sitio.

Captain Ersel Filipinas of the Philippine Army 68th Infantry Battalion (68IB) shared that improving access to education in the Mantay is part of the government’s initiative to make Sitio Mantay a model community.

This initiative includes providing sustainable livelihood, such as the provision of agricultural inputs, and delivering medical and health services in the community.

Filipinas said that development and peace can be achieved through consolidated efforts of different government agencies and offices in delivering services to areas exposed to armed conflict with the New People’s Army (NPA), as this disproves the communist group’s propaganda against the government.

“It will discredit sa mga propaganda ng NPA na di umano’y pinapabayaan ng gobyerno ang ating mga katutubo. Sa pakikiisa sa gobyerno at ang pagtatakwil sa makakaliwang grupo (NPA), nandiyan ang development at makakamit din ang kapayapaan, [It will discredit the NPA’s propaganda that the government allegedly abandoned the indigenous people. With the government’s united efforts and rejection of the NPA, development and peace will follow],” he highlighted. (DSG/PIA MIMAROPA - Occidental Mindoro)

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Dianne Francis Sy-Gorembalem

Information Officer

Region 4B

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