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Albay hosts joint US-PH civic action

The joint US-Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercises (Phiblex 2013) ten-day humanitarian and civic action activities in Albay are now underway. Phiblex has chosen Albay again for this mission, actually its fourth time having been visited by the USS Peleliu in 2007, the RP-US Balikatan in 2009, and  US Pacific Angel in 2010. The mission started September 25  and will last until October 10. The mission’s engagements include repairs of typhoon-damaged school buildings and health services for thousands of indigent villagers. The team has physicians, dentists and nurses and stocks of medical supplies. Gov. Joey Salceda said Albay has been chosen by the mission in recognition of its effective disaster risk and reduction management (DRRM) and climate change adaptation (CCA) initiatives, for which reasons the United Nations has made it its global model in these fields. The Phiblex 2013 team consists of 36 members of the US Marine Corps led by Major Grace Janosek whose USMarine Corps C-130 transport aircraft landed here from Okinawa, Japan, and an equal number of personnel from the Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol) based in this city. Beneficiary villages include Barangays Taysan, Victory Village and Bigaa in Legazpi City, among others. Salceda said the humanitarian mission serves to further improve bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and the US, whose military personnel exchange experiences on matters concerning defense concerns and humanitarian services. As one of the most disaster prone areas in the country, Albay has many success stories to share on DRRM and CCA. It has in fact institutionalized Civil-Military cooperation in disaster preparedness and response through its disaster response group, Team Albay.
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