CULIAT, Quezon City - The 7th Civil Relations Group of the Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines and its partner organizations conducted a Medical and Dental Mission in Salam Mosque Compound here today.
Composed of 15 medical practitioners from both the military and civilian organizations, the team started the free health services starting at about 8:00am.
The beneficiaries were all residents of this 3-hectare compound that is populated by Muslim people from the conflict affected areas of southern Mindanao.
Lt Col Harold Cabunoc, the Commander of the 7th Civil Relations Group, said that the military wants to show its commitment to serve the people who are in need.
"This is our simple way of showing good governance to the people by bringing various government agencies and non-government organizations together for a common cause. This is Bayanihan at work," he said.
At least 790 people availed the free health services including general check-up, eye consultation, tooth extraction and distribution of medicines.
Shariff Juhur, 55, was among the community leaders who came to support the event. He was delighted seeing soldiers clad in battle uniforms but armed with life-saving equipment.
"Our people have experienced so much suffering in the armed conflicts in Mindanao. It is high time to rebuild the trust among Filipinos through peaceful and meaningful activities like the free health services brought by the AFP," he said.
The 4-hour activity was supported by the following: TOPSOLDIERS, Rotary Club of Makati-Pasong Tamo, Eisenhower Fellowships, Project ARAL, TALIMA, Teach Peace Build Peace, MedCare, UNYPAD, Lingkod Bayani Net and other government agencies like the PNP, PDEA, and the Department of Health.
Salam Mosque Compound sits on a 3-hectare property that was donated by the fallen Libyan strongman Muammar Ghadaffi in the early 1970's. The original purpose of the donation is to construct a large mosque and a madrasah (Islamic school) for the Muslim community in Manila.
Currently, the compound has turned into a residential area with an estimated number of 20,000 residents including the transients who come to work in the metropolis.
(Photos by Carlo Carpio-Claudio, Cpl Marlon San Esteban, A1C Ramil Ranises)
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