USAIDTACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, April 7 (PIA) – Despite the heavy rains, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim visited the province of Leyte Tuesday, last week, where he formally turn  over nine new classrooms in Palo, Leyte and a training center in Tacloban City.

Upon arrival, the US official immediately went to Anahaway National High School where he was warmly welcomed by the officials of Palo led by Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla, and the Department of Education, represented by Leyte Schools Division Superintendent Dr.Ronelo Al Firmo, before he proceeded to Tacloban City hall where he also led the inauguration of the training center.

In a short interview, Kim expressed delight when upon disembarking from his car, school children cheered him while holding the flags of the two countries.

When asked by the local media why the US government continuous to help the Philippines despite some noise, he explained that this is due to a very strong alliance between the two countries for many years.

“US and the Philippines have had a close partnership, very close friendship and a very strong alliance for many many years. US-Philippines alliance is the longest alliance we have in the whole Asia pacific region,” Kim said.

Citing the over 4 million Filipino-Americans living, studying and working in the United States and the 300 thousand Americans working in the Philippines, Kim assured to maintain the strong partnership and continue the economic engagement to be very deep as well.

The nine classrooms and the Tacloban Training Center constructed by the United States Agency for International Development USAID) Rebuild are designed to withstand the high velocity winds of up to 360 kilometers per hour and a magnitude of 8.5 earthquake on the richter scale.

The livelihood training center is expected to serve over 6, 000 farmers, fisher folks and entrepreneurs operating in the city of Tacloban and nearby areas.

The center is part of the broader initiatives of the US government to help revive the economy of Leyte after it was hit by Yolanda more than three years ago.

Since June 9, 2014 USAID launched USAID Rebuild, a multi-component effort funded by the US government to support reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in typhoon-affected areas in region 8 and will end on April 30, 2017.