Far-Flung Villages in San Isidro Benefit from Gov’t Outreach Caravan

Village kids greet Major General Noel Clement and Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang as they arrive in one of the villages in San Isidro town where an outreach caravan is being held.

DAVAO ORIENTAL— Four villages belonging to the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) in San Isidro town are the latest recipients of the provincial government’s flagship program called Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan (NLD-BOC).

Held on November 20-21 in the villages of Santo Rosario, San Miguel, Sudlon, and Maag, almost 3,000 residents availed of the much-needed services brought by the outreach caravan.

Among the residents who are highly-appreciative of the caravan are the elderly.

Beneficiaries here said they are overwhelmed to have received free goods and services from the government without needing to travel down their mountain village and enduring the difficult unpaved road.

Although unaffected by insurgency-related conflicts, these marginalized villages were recommended by the Philippine Army to become recipients of the outreach caravan because of their huge problem with accessibility.

Residents here who are mostly farmers say that the poor road condition and their distance from the economic center have been the main cause of delay, damage, and high transportation cost on their agricultural products which is their primary source of income. Main crops produced by these farming villages include coconut, banana, and cacao.

An elderly is being lifted by the rescue team going to the area of the caravan.

In a speech delivered by Governor Dayanghirang in Barangay San Miguel, he said he has ordered the Provincial Engineering Office to hasten the rehabilitation of the roads leading to these barangays.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang

Meanwhile, to further provide assistance to the farmer-beneficiaries here, the Department of Agriculture Regional Office XI, Provincial Agricultural Office (PAGRI), Davao Agricultural Research Station, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources gave out vegetable seeds, corn seeds, cacao seedlings, tilapia fingerlings, among many others.

Bringing the government closer to the people, the outreach caravan has now gathered more than 40 service providers from only 27 agencies since its historic launching in Manay in the year 2016. The consistent participation of other line agencies from the national down to local and provincial offices proves their sincere public service and utmost care towards the people,” said NLD-BOC Focal Person and PAGRI Department Head Rotchie M. Ravelo.

“We have heard about the caravan from our relatives in Governor Generoso which was conducted on September and since then we have been quietly praying that we may also benefit from this program,” said an emotional Leonardo Solano in the village of Santo Rosario. “And now, we can never thank the governor enough for making us feel cared for and for providing us these much-needed goods and services. All of us here will not go home empty-handed,” she added.

Also included in the overwhelming services brought by the caravan is the late registration of children facilitated by the Philippine Statistics Authority, dispensing of free medicines, free health checkup and minor surgeries by the Provincial Health Office, provision of temporary jobs through the employment program of the Department of Labor and Employment, and cash incentives awarded by the Philippine Coconut Authority.

On behalf of Sudlon community, Punong Barangay Emerito Robledo said he is thankful that all of the residents — from schoolchildren to senior citizens- have benefitted from the said outreach caravan. Daycare students were given school bags containing school supplies and raincoat sponsored by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, while the elderly were given free reading eyeglasses by the Provincial Health Office. The Provincial Social Welfare and Development, in partnership with the social welfare department, likewise distributed food packs to each household and assistive device to persons with disabilities.

Meanwhile, top officials of the Philippine Army led by 10th Infantry Division Commander Major General Noel Clement have observed the conduct of the caravan in Barangay Maag. He was joined by 701st Brigade Commander Brigadier General Reuben Basiao, 1003rd Brigade Commander Col. Ernesto Torres, Jr., 1001st Brigade Commander Col. Erwin Bernard Neri and other officials and members of the 10th ID Multi-Sector Advisory and Action Group (MSAAG).

Major General Clement expressed his support to the peace and development effort of Governor Dayanghirang which he said is an effective strategy to end the long-running communist insurgency. 

Launched in November 2016, the NLD-BOC has already covered 44 out of 183 barangays in Davao Oriental. Governor Dayanghirang said the provincial government will continue to reach out to the remaining barangays. Early this December, the Provincial Government is set to conduct another caravan in the municipalities of Manay and Governor Generoso. By Riza Golez/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

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