School children receives hygiene kits from 1st CAV Squadron

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By Gideon C. Corgue (ALT/GCC/Pagadian/Zamboanga del Sur)

Elementary students in a far-flung barangay of Navalan, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur were recipients of “Project Hygiene Kit” initiated by the 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron, Mechanized Infantry Division, Philippine Army.

Lt. Col. Charlemagne Batayola Jr., commanding officer of the 1st Cavalry Squadron led the distribution of 105 hygiene kits to students of MV Lagare Memorial Elementary School in Barangay Navalan.

New Project

A new program of the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) office for this year, “Project Hygiene Kit” aims to promote proper hygiene to indigenous peoples’ children especially in the remote and far-flung barangays.

Batayola said the project is consonance with the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that encourages active participation of various stakeholders in their peace and security efforts.

“We are launching this program, because we consider the school children as part of the stakeholders,” he added.

Proper Hygiene

He said further that there is a need for children in the countryside to develop proper hygiene to protect them from various diseases. Hence, this project intends to raise awareness on the importance of proper handwashing with soap and water not only among schoolchildren but in the community as well.

The simple act of handwashing can reduce the spread of diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid fever and respiratory infections.

The said kit includes basic hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, face towel, bath soap and alcohol.

During the event, Batayola said the school children were taught proper hand washing techniques, brushing of teeth and other health practices by the health team of Labangan Rural Health Unit headed by Dr. Mailyn Manupac, municipal health officer.

Meanwhile, Navalan Punong Barangay Leoncio Osores was grateful to the 1st Cavalry Squadron for launching the project in his barangay saying that it offers help to school children to learn and practice personal hygiene.

“Pinaagi ani nga project, ang mga kabataan makasagop sa maayong batasan sa ilang pagkabata. Kung unsa ang ilang nahibaloan sa kasundalohan ug sa municipal health office mahitungod sa personal hygiene, ila na kini madala hangtud madako sila ug malikayan nga magkasakit,” Osores explained.

(Through this project, the school children can adopt good habits during their formative childhood years. What children learn from the soldiers and municipal health office on personal hygiene can be practiced until they grow up and thus avoid getting sick.)

Osores recalls that last year, the unit also conducted several activities such as: tree planting, “Brigada Eskwela”, medical and dental civic action program (MEDCAP), clean up drive and extending food assistance to poor families.

Batayola expressed his gratefulness to Pagadian Mayor Romeo P. Pulmones, Ferdinand P. Pulmones and Mr. Kendrick Yap for partnering with the “Project Hygiene Kit” of the 1st Cavalry Squadron.