PALO, Leyte—The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on March 25 has turned-over another school building in this town making it as the third classroom building project completed by the said agency this year. Andrew Holland, USAID supervisory contracting/agreement officer, who led in the simple turn-over ceremony of two buildings with 14 classrooms in Palo I Central School, said he was happy to see the classrooms finally completed for the sake of the school children. “This building is for you, for your children. The United States government and other countries in the world have great determination to rebuild your lives after Yolanda,” Holland said in his speech, to the applause of parents, local officials and students who were also waiving American and Philippine flaglets.

Holland assured that aside from school building project, the U.S. government is also keen on its livelihood and health care assistance to the communities affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda.” “This school building project is a reaffirmation of our commitment,” he said. Melfe Sanchez, school principal, said that they are happy and in deep gratitude to the USAID for their assistance to their school. “Children need a good environment for their education. From the temporary learning spaces, we now have beautiful, well-painted, well- equipped with water and electrical facilities, and other learning materials,” Sanchez added.

Grade six pupil Shan Abril, 11, said he is happy on the changes in his school after the typhoon. According to Engr. Carlos Tan, USAID Rebuild Deputy Chief of Party for Infrastructure, USAID-Rebuild is targeting over 250 classrooms to be completed until January 2016 under their medium term disaster rehabilitation program in Tacloban city and other municipalities in Leyte affected by typhoon Yolanda with partnership from local government units. “These classrooms will be earthquake and typhoon-resilient, taking the lesson after the powerful storm Yolanda,” he said. (RONALD O. REYES)