|Col. Joselito Kakilala gives message of inspiration in a medical mission.|
Col Joselito E Kakilala, the newly installed Commander of 903rd Brigade, who replaced newly promoted BGen Felix J Castro Jr AFP, as well as Lt Col Julian C Pacatan, 9IB Commanding Officer received the Command Certificates of Recognition awarded by Major Gen Romeo V Calizo, Division Commander after the New Year’s call and Command Conference at 9ID headquarters on January 10, 2013.
The 903rd Brigade covers Sorsogon and Masbate provinces in the conduct of Internal Peace and Security Operations (IPSO), while the 9IB, under the Brigade’s operational control, covers Masbate province.
Considering the imperatives of IPSP “Bayanihan” and its emphasis on both combat and non-combat dimensions of military operations, the Brigade during the period, has accomplished more than its expected output.
During the semester, the Brigade was able to neutralize 7 NPA personalities: two (2) killed unidentified lawless elements; apprehension of 3 CNN members; and one (1) surrendered.
Along with the combat operations, 24 firearms were gained (20 high powered/ 4 low powered), although many of these are outside the focus area. The recovered firearms include: eight (8) M16, one (1) M653, one (1) M14, two (2) Garand rifles, one (3) Cal. 38 revolver one (1) .45 Cal pistol; eight (8) homemade shotguns; twelve (12) landmines (Anti-tank); five (5) improvised claymore mines (Anti-personnel); thirty (30) Molotov bombs; and other subversive documents.
“Similarly, the unit pursued efforts to link with agencies that could help in the development of the communities in Sorsogon and Masbate. It has opted to focus its efforts in certain areas rather than have projects in many dispersed barangays. By pouring in development projects in selected focus areas, the improvement could easily be felt by the people and there is a higher chance of success. Neighboring communities will eventually also benefit from the improved economic environment,” he explained.
Furthermore, Col. Kakilala said the 903rd Brigade has been active in the programs of PAMANA. The PAMANA Convergence Unit for Sorsogon which involves representatives from the different government agencies has been a good venue to recommend infrastructure projects and target areas for development. The two provinces in its area have received funds for development - Sorsogon P40 million (7 focus municipalities) and Masbate P68 million (3 focus municipalities). Furthermore, in Masbate P500 million peso infrastructure projects are programmed next year.
The unit facilitated the conduct of four (4) Medical, Dental, Optical and Legal Missions sponsored by UNTV Channel 37 in Brgy San Francisco; Brgy Butag, Bulan, Sorsogon; Brgy Rizal, Sorsogon City; Brgy Poblacion, Pilar Sorsogon together with the elements of 31st Infantry Battalion, staff and volunteers of Clinic ni Kuya and Kamanggagawa Foundation Inc. with the support of Local Government Units and DepEd.
The Brigade also was able to establish links with the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Foundation, Inc for the construction of classroom buildings in Pandan National High School in Castilla, Sorsogon and another in Cabangcalan Elementary School in Aroroy, Masbate.
Moreover, the Pinoy Big Brother, Sagip Kapamliya Foundation, Maalaala Mo Kaya Program, the 903rd Infantry Brigade, 9th Infantry Battalion, and the 565th Engineer Battalion partnered in the construction of a two-classroom school building in Sitio Mababoy, Brgy Guinhadap, Monreal, Masbate.
The Lewis College and ABS-CBN are the other partners for education. The Brigade has now 22 Bayanihan scholars enrolled at the college, while 2 other scholars who took TESDA courses were sponsored by ABS-CBN foundation.
The Brigade also partnered with the Fiber Industries Development Authority (FIDA) for the abaca planting projects in Brgy Pandan and Salvacion in Castilla. The one-hectare nursery in each barangay has already been emplaced.
It is a long time program that will be benefited by these barangays as well as adjacent barangays and municipalities in the near future.
903rd Brigade has been able to perform exceedingly well in its combat and non-combat operations. This could be attributed to a pool of well-motivated, well-trained and experienced personnel who get the job done. (Cpt MPanesa, PA/ BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)
Col. Felix Castro Jr. Inf (GSC) PA, former Brigade Commander of 903rd delivered a message to support the people of Sitio Mababoy in the groundbreaking ceremony of one-classroom school building in Mrgy. Guinhadap, Monreal, Masbate on July 15, 2012. (PIA Sorsogon/Phil Army)
An eight-year old girl received a free brand new wheelchair during a MEDCAP in Bulan, Sorsogon on July 1, 2012. The activity was given by Bulan Mayor Helen Rose De castro and LTC Teody Toribio, Commanding officer of 31 IB, 9ID, PA assisted by Col. Felix J. Castro, Jr. former Commanding Officer of the 903rd Inf Bgde, PA. (PIA Sorsogon/Phil Army)