PALO, Leyte- Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin visited the Republic of Korea Joint Support Group a.k.a. “ARAW” Contingents on June 10, on their base camp, located in Brgy. Candahug, Palo, Leyte. Accompanying his visit were Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) – Alexander Pama, AFP Central Command Chief- Major General John Bonafos, 8th Infantry Division Commander- Jet Velarmino, The Korean Ambassador to the Philippines- Lee Hyuk, and other top officials from the Philippines. Sec.Gazmin arrived in Tacloban at around 8:30am, visited the different schools and buildings repaired by the ARAW troops, including the Leyte Provincial Hospital and the Department of Education Region 8 building. He expressed his satisfaction upon seeing the well- repaired structures. He also visited the ARAW Vocational School which was the ‘Heavy Equipment’ training program and was glad of the school’s progress. Sec.Gazmin’s purpose in visiting the ARAW troops was actually to give them an award in recognition of their rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-battered areas. He presented them with the BaKas Parangal Award, an award given to the group for exhibiting exemplary dedication and selflessness in all the help they offered and inspiring the Filipinos. He expressed his gratitude during the ceremony following the speeches given by the ARAW Commander, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, and the Korean Ambassador to the Philippines. The Philippines is really grateful to the South Korean government and most especially to the ARAW troops for their help and dedication. “Thank you for your noble service, exemplary heroism, and friendship,” Sec. Gazmin said. After the ceremony, the secretary was quickly interviewed by the local media then took a quick tour around the base camp. He also sponsored and enjoyed lunch together with the troops. (PR)