Balikatan soldiers build classrooms in Ecija, Tarlac
CITY OF SANFERNANDO— Philippine and American military officials leading the large-scale war exercises, Balikatan (shoulderto-shoulder), turned over two-classroom buildings to the Department of Education in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in separate rites on Wednesday. Balikatan soldiers constructed the buildings for Cabu Elementary School at Barangay Cabu in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, and for Kalangitan Elementary School in the Aeta community of Kalangitan Village in Capas town, Tarlac, according to Maj. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., head of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division (ID). Maj. Gen. Herminigildo Francisco Aquino, assistant exercise director; Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, head of III Marine Expeditionary Forces; Lt. Col. Soulynamma Pharathikoune, commander of the 9th ESB of the USMarines; and Col. RommelHinlo, deputy chief engineer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, graced the turnover ceremonies in both provinces. Balikatan 2018 began on May 7 in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, where the 7th ID is based. School buildings were also built in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, Santos said.