ZAMBOANGA CITY: Thousands of villagers benefited from a joint medical mission and community outreach programs by Salug town and the Philippine Army in Zamboanga del Norte, officials said over the weekend.
A total of 4,715 patients availed of various services such as dental (342), livestock and veterinary (149), haircut (234), civil registration (115) while 461 were provided with assorted vegetables seeds.
The three-week program which began on July 8 was headed by Mayor Jeffrey Lim and Lt. Col. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the 10th Infantry Battalion under the First Infantry Division.
“The activity aimed to bring basic social services to the depressed and impoverished people in the hinterland and far flung areas which served as sanctuaries of both New People’s Army and lawless elements,” Nicolas said.
He said the successful mission was participated by 101st Infantry Brigade, the First Medical Forward Company and First Dental Detachment, the 20th Special Forces Company, Sixth Special Forces Battalion, the Philippine Air Force Reserve, the local municipal police force and the town’s agencies.
“In the performance of its non-traditional roles, the army, particularly the 10th Infantry Battalion, ceaselessly pushed through its civic actions and developmental projects in tandem with other stakeholders as a means of attaining peace in support to the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan.”
“The recently concluded activity helps the local government unit and other stakeholders in addressing the socio-economic exploitable issues which are being capitalized by the NPA [New People’s Army] in motivating, organizing and mobilizing the people to revolt against the duly constituted government. By helping the local governments to address these issues, the AFP will triumph in winning the peace without defeating the enemy through armed combat,” Nicolas said.