U.S. EMBASSY MANILA, Philippines -- United States Naval Engineers, also known as Seabees, recently completed the construction of a Php 17 million ($309,000) multipurpose hall that will serve as a disaster relief shelter for the residents of Barangay Luzviminda in Palawan.
The structure, which will also be used as a community center for elderly residents and persons with disabilities, was turned over to local officials led by Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron and Barangay Captain Laddy R. Gemang at a ribbon cutting ceremony held on May 30.
The fully-equipped facility is the barangay’s first designated disaster relief shelter and will enhance the community’s resilience to natural calamities.
Local residents and officials also expressed gratitude to the U.S. Navy Seabees for the construction of a basketball court that will serve as a venue for recreational activities and contribute to the community’s overall well-being.
“This is a significant milestone in our organizations’ commitment in providing immediate and effective assistance to those effected by natural calamities and disasters,” Philippine Navy WESCOM Commander Vice Admiral Alberto B. Carlos said in his message. “Disaster preparedness is a collective responsibility and we must work together across all sectors to serve the community, build resilience, and enhance our capacity to respond effectively to any future disaster that may come our way.”
“Our collaborative effort with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in constructing the disaster relief shelter has yielded substantial results. It has bolstered engineering capabilities, enhanced interoperability, and played a pivotal role in providing essential support during natural disasters,” U.S. Navy Detachment Philippines Officer-in-Charge ENS Huy Duong said.
“You (U.S. Navy Seabees) are always welcome in Puerto Princesa. We look forward to your continued presence here,” Mayor Bayron said.
The project is the continuation of a bilateral effort between the Philippines and United States to strengthen their alliance and provide engineering support to local communities throughout the Philippines. The U.S. Navy Seabees will continue to collaborate with local government units on other infrastructure projects, including the construction of a classroom for the Carlos National High School in Brookes Point, Palawan.