In his visit to Camp Tito Abat in Manaoag town on Saturday, Brigadier General Lyndon Sollesta, commander of the Brigade, said every time a soldier goes out of the camp, he is exposed to the danger of COVID-19, thus protection for oneself is very vital.
Sollesta said his troops primarily provide engineer support to the Philippine Army and socio-economic development projects of the government.
Part of their mandate is to provide humanitarian assistance and perform disaster response operations.
"Many of them construct emergency quarantine facilities in different provinces and some are assigned at quarantine control points and help in relief operations in their area of assignment, thus, exposure to the disease is inevitable," he said.
“Kailangang balansehin ang takot sa COVID-19 at ang pag-perform ng duties. Protektahan ang sarili para makapagpatuloy sa pagserbisyo,” Sollesta told his men at the Engineer Support Group.
He said the war on coronavirus is far different from that of the war in a battle field.
“Sa giyera, pwede nating ma-contain sa isang area ang mga kalaban para hindi na magspill-over sa community. Pero itong COVID-19, hindi natin alam kung saan ang danger at kung sino ang kalaban,” he lamented.
Despite this fact, Sollesta emphasized the whole-of-government approach where all sectors of the government work hand-in-hand to manage the effect of the dreaded virus.
“Hopefully this pandemic will be over. We are winning this war against COVID-19 and everything will go back to new normal,” Sollesta said in an interview.
Sollesta visited Pangasinan to personally monitor the support group in the camp, talk to his troops led by Commanding Officer Major Amadeo Panlilio and preside over the meeting of the Regional Multi-Sectoral Advisory Council headed by its chair, Ms. Lynn Ang.
He also visited his fellow general, Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil in Lingayen town.
The 51st Engineering Brigade has its main camp in Libis, Quezon City.
It has six construction battalions, one engineer combat battalion and one engineer support company.
Its coverage is the entire Luzon, including the island of Palawan and the island of Pag-asa in the Spratlys. (JCR/AMB/VHS/PIAPangasinan)
By Venus May H. Sarmiento