Peace and Development Effort Reaches Hinterlands in Caraga Town

DAVAO ORIENTAL—In its consistent effort to combat poverty and insurgency in the province, the provincial government’s flagship program dubbed as Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental (NLD) Barangay Outreach Caravan was recently held in the hinterland villages in Caraga town on August 23-24.

Benefitting almost 6,000 poor residents, 37 line agencies and offices from the national, provincial and local level converged in pouring out overwhelming goods and services to the isolated villages of Caningag, San Miguel, Mercedes, and Don Leon Balante. The services rendered ranges from medical and dental to technical and legal consultations.

Aerial photo of the NLD Barangay Outreach Caravan in Brgy. Don Leon Balante in Caraga town.

Citing medical services as one of the most expensive needs by the communities in the hinterlands, recipients here are grateful for the free medicines, medical consultations and checkups, tooth extraction, and particularly the free circumcision among young boys. A total of 40 young boys have availed of the free circumcision, saying this would cut the cost of going to hospitals noting their barangays’ distance from the heart of the town.

Free circumcision for young boys.

On the other hand, free goods including school bags and supplies, sports equipment, and food packs were sponsored by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office and its Provincial counterpart, the PSWDO.

Also, planting materials and seeds were distributed by the Provincial Agriculture Office and Department of Agriculture Regional Office. A total of 29,100 pieces cacao seedlings, 400 bags of corn seeds weighing 10 kilos each, 400 packs of assorted vegetable seeds, 100 packs of mung beans weighing 1 kilo each, 140 packs of peanut weighing 1 kilo each, and 250 pieces of guyabano seedlings were distributed.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also gave 30,000 tilapia fingerlings while the Philippine Coconut Authority has turned over a cash incentive amounting to P55,800 for the participatory coconut planting project.

Consistent with its mandate to curb unemployment rate in the province, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has provided temporary jobs to 40 residents from the four villages under the department’s Emergency Employment Program. The recipients, who were randomly chosen, will be working in their respective barangays for ten days and will be paid at P340.00 per day.  Moreover, the provincial head of the DOLE, Joseph Vingno, has facilitated a linkage between hiring companies and the local job applicants.

Governor Dayanghirang and Caraga Mayor Alicia Mori together with the recipients of DOLE’s Emergency Employment Program

With the growing number of service providers enticed to extend their services through the outreach caravan, this month’s version of the caravan saw the first participation of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the ER Supermall, a private company that has established chains of supermarket in the province.  The PAO has rendered free legal consultation while the ER Supermall gave out a total of 60 gift certificates with an amount of P100 each.

More than just a vehicle for the provision of various services and projects, the NLD Barangay Outreach Caravan has also become a means for capacitating the villagers on disaster risk reduction management, fire prevention, anti-drug abuse, road safety, environmental protection, climate change adaptation, peace advocacy, among others.

Police officers give lectures on advocacy campaign against violence against women and children.

Recipients during the two-day caravan said they have felt the impact of the peace and development effort of the provincial government even before the program was extended to their village. Since its historic launching in Manay in 2016 and its continuous implementation in all its neighboring towns, notable impact on peace was observed which include the insurgent’s surrender to the fold of the law and the recovery of high powered firearms.

Vidal Masungcad, a farmer in Barangay Mercedes, said that with practically all of the community’s needs provided by the government through the caravan, many of the villagers here who are actively involved in the communist movement were being enlightened, prompting them to leave the rebel group.

Col. Reuben Basiao, Commander of the 701st Brigade of the Philippine Army

Col. Reuben Basiao, Commander of the 701st Brigade of the Philippine Army, together with 67th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Jake Thaddeus Obligado, urged the public not to be fooled by the “rotten ideologies of the leftists.”

Meanwhile, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, who underscored the importance of the area’s road accessibility to make it less vulnerable to armed struggle, has promised for the concreting of the roads leading to these four villages in the soonest possible time.

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang

“Welcoming peace is tantamount to paving way for more development opportunities in your community. I assure you that the provincial government will continue to pour out its development and livelihood programs for as long as you cooperate in achieving long and lasting peace”, the governor added. By Riza M. Golez/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan


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