CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City — aspiring for modernization and a world-class division of the Philippine Army, the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division initiated a groundbreaking ceremony marking its construction of a world-class 4ID Administrative Building in Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City on Friday, May 22, 2020.

The said ceremony was led by MGen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander of the 4ID, held at the division’s tennis court area. In observance of the health protocols, selected guests were invited to mark another history of 4ID in the making. Present during the simple yet momentous ceremony was Engr. Mabel F. Saa, the Chief of Staff of the 1st District Engineering office who represented the DPWH Secretary Mark Villar being the Guest of Honor and Speaker. LtGen Jose Faustino AFP, Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command attended the activity together with other senior military officers. Also witnessing the ceremony were NICA-10 Regional Director Manuel M Orduna and NEDA-10 Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora B Cariňo.

The 3-storey Administrative building will soon rise replacing the 66-year old admin building of the army division. The old admin building commonly called the “White House” was built in 1954 during the stint of Col Tirso G Fajardo as the Commander of the 4th Military Area (IVMA), an important landmark that witnessed the transition from IVMA to 4th Infantry Division in 1970. It has indeed stood the test of time and has very well served its purpose even up to the present. However, the building is now in the advanced stage of deterioration. “Had it been a government employee like us, it would have long retired from the service. It is but time to give it its well-deserved rest as it may no longer be in its best shape to cater to the needs of the division nowadays,” says Gacal.

The 4ID admin building project is under the “Tatag ng Imprastraktura para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad” (TIKAS) Program of the DPWH with a programmed budget of PhP60 million. The government started the TIKAS program in 2019 and had accomplished more than 300 structures of military camps built and improved. It was initiated for the mutual benefit of the two government agencies (DPWH and DND) wherein the DND can mount projects with the DPWH, while the DND shall safeguard DPWH projects in conflict affected areas.

“My deepest gratitude to the DPWH under the inspiring leadership of Sec Mark A Villar for helping us realize our aspiration of constructing a new 4ID headquarters that will provide an efficient working environment for the personnel and will also give justice to their heroism as it stands through time and witness the resounding glorious future and milestones up ahead,” Gacal said.

“It is an enduring testament to the diamond division’s role in both the shaping and transformation not only of the Philippine Army but also of the entire Mindanao island,” Gacal added.

LtGen Gilbert I Gapay, Commanding General of the Philippine Army, lauded the leadership of 4ID, sent through an audio-visual presentation, for brokering and making the project a reality.

Secretary Mark Villar, the Guest of Honor and Speaker, in his statement sent through a recorded audio-visual message, commits to continue and strengthen the TIKAS program in recognition of every soldier’s dedication to service. “It is an honor for me to be invited and be part of the groundbreaking ceremony. Rest assured that DPWH will not cease in supporting our AFP. We will continue this TIKAS program specially in upgrading the structures of our military camps. We believe that this is the right time for our AFP to have a quality and world-class facilities,” Villar said.

“I am very hopeful that this new project will stand testament to the enduring commitment we have towards continuous progress and development to the Caraganons and Northern Mindanaoans. Above all, this will further enable us to continuously and relentlessly pursue our core purpose of serving the people and securing the land,” Gacal concluded.