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PH-US Balikatan 2014 Cooperative Health Engagement in Tacloban City

May 10, 2014

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – Troops under the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States Armed Forces that formed part of the Balikatan Exercises 2014 conducted cooperative health engagement or medical mission at Fishermen’s Village Elementary School, Brgy. 88, San Jose. Tacloban City on May 10, 2014.

Maj. Gen. Emeraldo C. Magnaye AFP, the Balikatan 2014 AFP Lead Directorate and Brig. Gen Nelson of U.S. Marine Corps led the troops in conducting medical treatment and veterinary services from 9:00a.m. up to 4:00p.m.

The activity was also attended by Atty. Irene Chiu, the executive assistant of the City of Tacloban and Hon. Emelita S. Montalban, Barangay Chairwoman of the host barangay. The activity benefited 544 medical patients broken down into 196 pedia and 348 adult patients. Likewise, 50 dogs and a cat received anti-rabies vaccinations from the veterinary service.

Atty. Chiu in her message appreciated the presence of U.S. and AFP troops in rendering medical mission in their city even after six months when the tragedy struck the city. “You were here during the aftermath of the super typhoon and you are here again six months after. With that, I would like to acknowledge and thank the unsung heroes of the Philippine Army and the U.S. Marines and everyone who responded to Tacloban City during the early part of the tragedy and helped us regain our strength,” she said.

On the part of U.S. forces, Brig Gen Nelson commenting on why they have chosen Tacloban City for the medical mission said, “We felt that after the super typhoon Yolanda, Tacloban City is a great place to anchor Balikatan. We want to show our friendship, and this activity is also a good way to get back to the great people, the Filipinos. I was here three days after the super typhoon and what I see now six months after the typhoon is vast improvement. People have come together in rebuilding communities. The resilience of the Filipino people is amazing and very heart warming.”

Commenting on the Balikatan medical mission in Tacloban City, Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino AFP said, “The Balikatan 2014 cooperative health engagement or medical mission at Brgy 88, Tacloban City manifests that the ‘Bayanihan’ spirit knows no boundaries, as it lingers even among other nationalities, even among U.S Forces. Your Army in Eastern Visayas strongly supports this kind of activity as it puts the people's welfare and well-being above all other considerations.”