They say combat can reveal the power of brotherhood and a selfless sense of purpose among soldiers ( But even when not in combat, the soldiers of the 565th Engineer Construction Battalion (ECB) also known as “Bicol Builders”, showed their selflessness through pro bono works at the Department of Agriculture.

The emerald green and butterscotch yellow and white paint of the frontage of the administrative building will surely catch your attention. The repainting of said building and the DA chapel was done by the skilled soldiers of the 565th ECB, 51st Engineer Brigade, Philippine Army based at Camp Weene Martillana in San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur.

In anticipation of the strong typhoons, the battalion also assembled a solid windbreaker that they installed at the sides of the Field Operations Division to shield the glass windows from strong winds and rain water.

The battalion was also responsible in the levelling of the vast grounds surrounding the newly constructed Integrated Laboratories Complex.

The DA Bicol’s engagement with the Philippine Army started in 2003 through the efforts of then Research Division Chief and now Regional Technical Director for Operations RTD Luz R. Marcelino of DA RFO 5. RTD Marcelino is currently one of the members of the multi-sectoral advisory board of the 51st Engineer Brigade holding the position of Reserve Officer equivalent to Major.

In 2020, the DA turned over a Knowledge Management Hub which is one of the components of the P1.5 million project entitled “Enhancing Promotion and Dissemination of Knowledge Management System through Partnership.” The KM hub now serves as show window of technologies and products generated from agricultural researches. The building also provides a reading area for clients and an office to manage all the gathered technologies.

RTD Marcelino said she envisions the KM facility to showcase agricultural technology as a scientific enterprise. “The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) will also participate in the KM platform so that those clienteles from far flung and critical communities could benefit from this through the Phil. Army,” RTD Marcelino added. (Lovella P. Guarin/ DA RAFIS 5) (Some photos were courtesy of Bicol Builders FB account)