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More Shelters for More Soldiers

CAMP EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – A good number of military soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), especially their immediate family members will benefit from the fruits of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority's (BCDA) strategic planning and well-executed programs particularly the forthcoming completion of 192 residential units located in Fort Bonifacio and the Villamor Air Base.

The construction of 12 condominiums, each having 16 decent condo-type units will cost the BCDA the amount of P700 million.

Two buildings, with a total of 32 units, are located within the retention area of the Philippine Air Force in Villamor Air Base while ten buildings, comprising 160 units, are located in Fort Bonifacio. 

The BCDA announced the imminent completion of the residential units last week in the turnover ceremony of 32 newly completed condominium-type units to a similar number of Army soldiers and their families who were former JUSMAG (Joint US Military Assistance Group) Area residents. 

During the event, BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Arnel Casanova said “the provision of decent shelters to our brave men is expected to motivate them while being in pursuit of giving service to the nation and to fellow Filipinos.” 

The achievements of BCDA has left the military and its soldiers, other national government agencies, and civil society optimistic that there are goal-oriented means in correcting old, distorted ways. These are evidenced by the recovery of Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) property and the usage of AFP's shares and proceeds from the disposition of former military bases to augment the military's modernization programs.

“I’m quite convinced that there is still honor amongst uniformed men and the way we’re going to accomplish these projects is by bearing in mind the honor and dignity of our soldiers,” Casanova added.

Apart from upgrading the military's capability, the shares and proceeds received by the AFP from the said disposition are further translated into the construction of more housing units for qualified members of the military. Once the second batch of 32 housing units are accomplished, they will be turned over soon to qualified soldiers. These 32 units are just part of the 160 condo units to be built near McKinley Hill in Taguig City. 

Out of the 10 buildings in Fort Bonifacio which ought to provide 160 condo-type units, 2 have been constructed already. The other 8 buildings are expected to be put up and turned over before the year ends. Each unit is equipped with 3 bedrooms and a maid's quarter. 

Casanova emphasized that the results of these projects cannot be possible without the concerted efforts of the Department of National Defense, the BCDA, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines is grateful for the continuous assistance and contribution of the BCDA to uplift the morale and welfare of the soldiers. Not only does the BCDA put in so much effort to fast-track the implementation of our capability upgrade and modernization program but it keeps in mind the hardship and the sacrifices made by our troops which they willingly replace with programs that would better fit the soldiers and their families’ needs,” AFP Chief of Staff, Gen Jessie D. Dellosa said.

“Rest assured that with the benefits that we continue to receive from the BCDA, we will be more able and efficient in performing our mandate to protect the people and the state,” Dellosa added.

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PAO | Armed Forces of the Philippines | May 27, 2012 | Article Link

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