By Roi Anthoni B. Lomotan
NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – The Gawad Kalinga (GK) in Negros Oriental lauds the soldiers of 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army based in Lanao Del Norte for spearheading community development projects in their area.
Gawad Kalinga Negros Oriental Coordinator Joseph Ceriales believes that government troops in the province can adopt the programs of the 15th IB to help empower communities here.
The 15th IB through its outgoing commander Lt. Col. Ferdiand Barandon initiated the “From Arms to Farms” campaign in partnership with different local government units and various non-government organizations aimed to help farmers by providing them the support they need from the mentioned stakeholders.
Another program of the 15th IB is the Basic Literacy Program headed by the Army Literacy Patrol System for the underprivileged individuals living in far flung areas of Lanao Del Norte.
Through these efforts the soldiers of 15th IB became champions of “bayanihan” spirit through community building, Ceriales said.
“Beyond standing their guard and shooting their artilleries, they also plant the seeds of hope in these communities by empowering the people,” Ceriales remarked.
“Within their strong builds are overflowing love for service and integrity. As they thrive in the spirit of volunteerism and bayanihan, they have developed the culture of serving the less fortunate brothers and sisters from the military camp to the communities,” he adds.
The battalion’s community development projects benefited the residents of Munai, Kauswagan, Bacolod, Maigo, Kolambugan, Poona Piagapo and Tangkal towns.
Recently, the 15th IB had a change of leadership. Col. Leomar Jose Doctolero assumed as the new battalion commander on July 12.
Doctolero is a known GK advocate and assisted the local government of Kauswagan, which the battalion is based, in building GK community especially for those victims of typhoon “Sendong” in 2011.
GK Negros Oriental continues to salute all the men in uniform of the 15th IB as well as the 3rd Infantry Division which covers Negros Oriental for leading community development programs all for the best of both provinces. (mbcn/ral/PIA7-NegOr?Article first published at PIA Website on July 31, 2014)