Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana on April 23, 2021, commended efforts of military units in helping communities severely impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“The AFP through its civil-military operators has been conducting various programs and campaigns since last year to help alleviate the plight of poor communities greatly affected by the pandemic,” he said in a statement.
Sobejana said in the National Capital Region (NCR) alone, a total of 653,933 households or 2,581,852 individuals were aided by different humanitarian efforts led by the 7th Civil Relations Group (7CRG) of the Civil Relations Service AFP.
Since March 2020, the unit carried out programs under the Kapwa Ko Sagot Ko Campaign –Community Owned Feeding Program, Tulong Uwi – Balik Probinsya, Pagkain sa Walang Bahay, Ayuda Mag Aaral at Paaralan, Katuwang Para sa Kapwa, and Sagip Kapwa.
Well-meaning individuals and groups have also tapped the AFP through the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations’ (OJ7) Civil Military Coordinating Center (CMCC), to provide and deliver goods and assistance to distressed Filipinos.
“Donations coursed through the CMCC last December 2020 reached a total of 251,443 boxes of assorted items. These were delivered to affected communities and frontline workers nationwide,” Sobejana said.
The unit also partnered with the Department of Agriculture for the urban agricultural program, “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra Covid-19 Program (ALPAS SA Covid-19)”, to support food production in urban areas during the health crisis.
The 7CRG has also been converting community dumpsites and abandoned areas to productive communal gardens to promote sustainability in every household.
The Raise to 1 Million Gardens in NCR campaign has since produced 780,000 starter kits and 460,000 household gardens; organized 20 community gardens throughout NCR, and recruited 76 volunteer individuals.
The AFP also provided transportation and manpower assistance to individuals exempted from quarantine and stranded health workers.
It also provided accommodations to locally stranded individuals at the Philippine Army and Philippine Air Force transient facilities.
Another significant achievement is the Information and Education Campaign in partnership with the Youth for Peace and Development Movement-Philippines.
The activity promotes the government’s Stay Home Campaign through social media engagements and other creative platforms.
“The AFP’s community-based efforts promote compassion, harmony, and bayanihan which continue to inspire and help motivate our people even in the most dark and challenging times. Through these projects, our soldiers served as vessels of blessings and catalysts to empower our communities to be more resilient and prepared in times of crisis,” Sobejana said. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)