Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Soldiers say “We Care” on Valentine’s Day

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 9, 2010) – The Philippine Army has lined up various programs dubbed “We Care” in celebration of the Valentine’s Day.

First Lieutenant Lakschmi Talidano, of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the program is in partnership with different stakeholders aimed at bringing joy and hope to poor villages in Davao City.

He said as early as February 5, the 1003rd Infantry Brigade participated in a blood drive and launched a feeding and gift giving program to some 300 indigenous peoples in Davao del Norte province.

Two other brigades and nine battalions under the army division have also scheduled various humanitarian programs which included tree planting, medical and dental outreach missions, free concert, gift-giving and free legal assistance programs from Wednesday to Saturday in areas where they operate.

On Sunday, Talidano said the Valentine’s Day will be celebrated with a field mass at the local naval base. The Philippine National Red Cross will also hold a blood drive in cooperation with the military.

After lunch, soldiers and policemen and civilian couples who volunteered their services will serve as foster parents to about 30 orphaned children for half day tour in parks, historical places, commercial establishments and movie houses in Davao City.

Wheelchairs donated by the Operation Blessing Foundation, Incorporated will be distributed in the afternoon for 30 physically incapacitated persons.

Talidano said the Valentine’s Day program will end with a dinner and a closing program for the foster parents and their foster children, partner agencies and institutions and other stakeholders.

Major General Carlos Holganza, commander of the 10th Infantry Division, said the celebration is not just for lovers, but for everybody. “It is our opportunity to show our love to the people who need our protection, help and care. But, our people would have a better appreciation of the program if more government and private offices and agencies, civil and nongovernmental organizations would join us in this heartwarming activities,” he said. (Geo Solmerano contributed to this report)

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