DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Embassy of the United States announced the arrival of 67 new Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines.
The new volunteers, with ages ranging from 21 to 69, arrived on Sunday, July 2, the US Embassy said, as posted on its website.
They will join the more than 9,000 Americans who have served as Peace Corps volunteers in the country since 1961 and made the Philippines the second oldest Peace Corps program, the embassy added.
“Inspired by President John F. Kennedy, the goal of the U.S. Peace Corps in the Philippines is to promote peace and friendship between our two nations as Volunteers work side-by-side with Filipinos to help build better lives for their communities,” the post added.
The volunteers also brought with them “diverse experience, technical expertise, and spirited enthusiasm to learn about the Philippines as they embark on their new adventure,” the embassy said.
The areas where the volunteers will work were not announced but they will be working in partnership with various agencies of the government in communities throughout the Philippines within a period of 27 months in the field of education, youth development and the environment.
The agencies they will work with include the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units.
They will also collaborate with non-government organizations working in the Philippines.
“Immediately following their arrival, the Volunteers will undergo an intensive 10.5 weeks of pre-service training covering technical skills, language, and cultural studies to prepare them for their service, the US Embassy said.
Before the arrival of the peace corps, the US and the Philippines have been holding joint military activities aimed at securing the “regional peace and stability.”
Both the government of the Philippines and the United States held a coordinated and completed patrol in the Sulu Sea to enhance regional peace and stability which concluded on Saturday, July 1.
Prior to this activity, the USS Coronado had completed the Maritime Training Activity “Sama Sama” with the Philippine Navy in the vicinity of Cebu. The exercise provided opportunities to sharpen tactical skills in maritime security operations that were employed during the coordinated patrol.
US Special Forces are also providing technical assistance and training to Philippine troops fighting the ISIS-backed militants in Marawi City.
Although he admitted that he is not aware of the role of the US forces in Marawi City, President Rodrigo Duterte thanked the US for providing technical assistance to government forces.
Nagpapasalamat na rin ako. Nandiyan na ‘yan (I have to be thankful. It’s already there),” Duterte told reporters when he visited wounded troopers in Cagayan de Oro City on June 11.(davaotoday.com)