DAVAO ORIENTAL –The Provincial Government is continuously pouring down aid and services to the barangays, benefiting thousands of hapless poor constituents here in the province.
On January 18, 2017, some 3,000 poor residents in the village of Marayag in Lupon town have benefited from a wide array of government services as part of the Provincial Government’s regular program called as Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan (NLD) ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan.
Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang says his flagship program hopes to make the government’s presence felt by the people especially those living in far-flung areas by mobilizing government resources in order to bring services and goods directly to the communities – a commitment he shares with the national government under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte whose main thrust is to provide services straight to the people.
Some twenty-three provincial offices and national line agencies have participated in the Outreach Caravan, bringing with them various services ranging from medical checkups and dental services, distribution of food packs and school supplies, legal consultations, provision of seedlings, and conduct of lectures on various government programs, disaster preparedness and climate change, among many others.
Various projects were also turned over during the caravan, including the 54 housing units to families whose homes were destroyed at the height of Low Pressure Agaton in 2014, which caused heavy floods that swept away houses in the village. This housing project was implemented through the Modified Shelter Assistance Program of the Provincial Government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
National government agencies have also turned over various projects to the barangay which include a concrete bridge that will benefit some 670 households and a daycare center from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and a small impounding water system from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In support to agriculture, the Provincial Agriculture Office turned over 20,000 cacao seedlings, 100 bags of corn seeds, 200 packs of vegetable seeds. 20,000 tilapia fingerlings from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources were also given to tilapia raisers for their inland fish pens.
Considered a suitable area for agriculture, Governor Dayanghirang vowed to pour down agricultural support to Barangay Marayag and other nearby villages to help augment the short supply of fruits and vegetables in markets in the City of Mati, thus boosting livelihoods of local farmers.
Bonifacio Sedario, 79, who has received various services on Wednesday’s caravan, expressed his gratitude to the government’s effort of bringing services to their village. “Like most people here, I am happy and overwhelmed of all these aid and services,” he said.
Unity for Peace
Since the Provincial Government started the outreach program in December 2016, at least 8,000 residents have already been reached by the program, including those in the village of Marayag. The Governor said he aims to cater at least three barangays each month starting on areas that belong to the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) communities with a marginalized population and physically and socio-economically separated from the mainstream society as these areas are considered vulnerable to insurgencies.
During the caravan, Governor Dayanghirang has called on the people to cooperate with the government. “We live in the same province and whatever social unrest that erupts here would directly affect us all. What we can do now is to work together and support each other in order to achieve genuine and long-lasting peace that we have dreamed of for so long,” says the governor, stressing his hopes of sustaining the province’s relatively peaceful state. He reminded his constituents that the government and its partners cares more about its people and that violence is never the answer to conflicts. “A place without peace could never achieve progress,” he stressed.
In order to foster long-term peace, the provincial government vows to address the lingering problem of poverty. Governor Dayaghirang says that “even as we address the problems that challenges our peace, the government intends to make more meaningful programs that will uplift the lives of the poor.”
Meanwhile, the Philippine Army, who serves as one of the main partners in the implementation of the Outreach Caravan, says their forces will continue to serve as a bridge to communicate the people’s needs to the government through the Peace and Development Outreach Program. Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, Commanding Officer of the Philippine Army’s 28th Infantry Battalion, said the Philippine Army will continue to strengthen its partnership with the Provincial Government and other national agencies to deliver services to the people. He said that despite the enemy forces’ attempts to disrupt peace and recover their lost bases here, the military assures that they will stand to protect the people and the peace that has been achieved so far. By Karen Lou Deloso, Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan