HAWAII NATIONAL GUARD DEDICATES NEWLY REBUILT SCHOOL IN THE PHILIPPINES

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 in FY2014, In The News, News Release

For Immediate Release         Sept. 16, 2014

#2014-0016

Tacloban City, Philippines- State Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Darryll D.M. Wong today led a Hawaii National Guard (HING) delegation in a ceremonial ribbon cutting to dedicate a newly rebuilt and renovated high school in the Philippines that had been badly damaged by Typhoon Haiyan.   Officials from the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii reopened Marasbaras High School after engineering units from Hawaii and Guam spent the past several months working on the project.  In June, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the Engineering Civic Action Project (ENCAP) to rebuild the school.

The Hawaii Army National Guard’s 230th Engineers were joined by the 1224th Engineer Support Company and 254th REDHORSE Squadron from the Guam National Guard to rebuild the structures. “We are grateful to our Guard personnel who shared the aloha of the people of Hawaii in this lasting and tangible way, which will help the Tacloban community recover following one of the worst tropical cyclones ever recorded,” Gov. Abercrombie said.

The scope of work included demolishing/replacing existing roofing panels and damaged structures, constructing new roofs, upgrading the electrical system, installing light fixtures and ceiling fans to three classrooms, and replacing classroom windows and doors. “Today is for the students and the people of Tacloban, you are the reason we are here,” Maj. Gen. Wong said.  “After taking care of the basic needs of food, water, shelter, the most important part of a recovery effort is getting the schools operational again. Education is not just a key to the next generation. It is the best indicator that a disaster area is returning to normal.”

This is the culmination of efforts that began 10 months ago. The HING sought out an engineering project that would help with the long term recovery, while providing realistic training for its soldiers and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines in November 2013, killing more than 6,000 people and displacing several million.

Video of the ribbon cutting ceremony can be found at: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/361032/ribbon-cutting-ceremony-and-building-turnover-guam-hawaii-national-guard-marasbaras-national-high-school-b-roll#.VBfIBkv6eG8

(Please courtesy “Hawaii National Guard video”.)