The U.S. Civil-Military Support Element-Philippines (CMSE-PHL) recently worked with Philippine partner organizations to provide free medical and dental care to more than 500 people affected by Typhoon Odette in Barangay Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan.
Working together with local government and military units, CMSE-PHL provided over 1,000 kilograms of medical and dental supplies, valued at over Php700,000 ($14,000), to support Palawan province’s ongoing efforts to assist communities, such as Port Barton, and expand services in all barangays of the province.
CMSE-PHL partnered with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) District Palawan-Special Operations Group, San Vicente Municipality, San Vicente Rural Health Unit, Philippine Marines 33rd Company, the Palawan Department of Health (DOH), and the Philippine Dental Association (PDA)-Palawan Chapter to make the project possible.
In December 2021, Port Barton recorded nearly Php303 million ($5.8 million) in property damage due to Typhoon Odette.
“The typhoon was an immense challenge for our men and women on the front lines in the PCG, from conducting search and rescue missions to transporting aid to different communities in Palawan,” said Lt. Jonathan Morante, the commanding officer of the PCG-Special Operations Group. “We are proud to be able to help our district and our people rebuild together, and we thank our U.S. partners for helping us support the people of Palawan.”
While American soldiers provided medical and dental supplies, Philippine Marine medics and DOH Palawan provided free on-site consultations and treatments to the people of Barangay Port Barton and administered vaccines against COVID-19. Dentists from the PDA-Palawan Chapter provided free treatment and hygiene kits to children. Medical supplies were also donated to the San Vicente municipal DOH.
“It’s amazing to see the resilience of the people of Palawan, and their commitment to serving their communities even under the toughest of circumstances,” said Sgt. 1st Class Linton Pitluga, a U.S. Army medic with CMSE-PHL. “It’s an honor to be able to work with our partners and be a small part of this inspiring effort to rebuild.”