Banaybanay, Davao Oriental- Almost 3,000 needy residents of the three barangays in the Municipality of Banaybanay availed of free goods and services from the recently held Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental (NLD) Barangay Outreach Caravan.
The 2-day event was held in Barangays Mahayag and Kauswagan on February 27 and in Barangay Paniquian on the following day. The said barangays are the fifth, sixth, and seventh recipients, respectively, of the regular program of the provincial government in its effort to bring the government services directly to the people, and were chosen as beneficiaries after the Philippine Army conducted needs assessment on the area.
These three remote communities are said to have less access on the government services. People mostly depend their livelihood on farming coconut, vegetables, and rice, and in selling firewood.
In line with this, town Mayor Adalia Tambuang expressed her gratitude to the governor being the “brainchild of this event to bring government closer to the people”. She said that “this is of great help” and added that Banaybanay LGU allocated budget for the meals of the beneficiaries as a counterpart for the said endeavor.
Development effort for Long-lasting Peace
Governor Dayanghirang has told the residents that it is his dream for the province of Davao Oriental to achieve long-lasting peace and progress.
“We came here to serve your community and I am thankful for your support and trust. All these efforts are directed toward the province’s progress and peace. Let us avoid conflict because we cannot achieve the progress that we have been dreaming of without peace. Therefore, I am asking for unity,” he said.
Rotchie M. Ravelo, the focal person of NLD Barangay Outreach Caravan said that the project emanated in line with the mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte which is to provide services directly to the people, and to promote good governance, and peace and order. He said that progress and peace always comes together. “If there is progress, there is peace. And if there is peace, there is progress.”
The commanding officer of the 28th Infantry Battalion, Lt. Col. Ramon P. Zagala, also said that insurgency is never an answer to any conflict and urged the public to cooperate with the peace and development efforts of the government.
The community outreach was participated in by the different line agencies from the national, provincial and local level.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) together with its provincial counterpart, the PSWDO, distributed Day Care school supplies, PWD crutches, and youth sports equipment. Jeralyn Manalop, a mother of three children whose two older kids are in elementary school happily received the “gifts from the government”. “These supplies are expensive these days, especially that my husband is only a laborer in a construction firm,” she said. Manalop added that she is “overwhelmed” and that she “never expected the different government agencies to converge for a common cause- to care and find a way to cater all our needs”.
DSWD and PSWDO also gave food packs. Ricardo Otar, a 58-year-old father who sells fire wood as a source of income said he is overwhelmed to receive food packs and other services from the provincial government. “This is really of great help because my income in selling firewood is not enough for my family’s need. I can’t sell as many as I should since I only carry the woods myself down from the mountain.” He added that he had long been hoping to be given livelihood that would sustain his family’s needs.
Aimed at providing impoverish residents like Ricardo Otar with a high-generating income, the Philippine Coconut Authority conducted techno demo on coco shanghai lumpia and coco toyo. These recipes use coconut residue and coconut water as the main ingredients, respectively, which are cheap and are easy to prepare. They also offered scholarship to out-of-school youth for a 1-year vocational course.
Meanwhile, personnel of the Department of Health and Provincial Health Office conducted a free medical consultation, check-up on vital signs and blood pressure, eye check-up, and dental services such as tooth extraction, fluoride application, and sealing. They also distributed free medicines and vitamins while the Philippine Red Cross conducted blood typing.
People here, especially students who received free medical services for the first time, have expressed their gratitude to the provincial government. “We are very happy to receive this help from the government because my parents cannot afford these. Our money from selling firewood is only enough for three meals a day”, said Alyssa Lamicday, a grade 11 student who lives in Barangay Paniquian.
Another grade 11 student, Marjorie General, had her eyes checked and availed of free reading eye glasses. “I am happy because it is free, unlike when we go to centers or hospitals where we had to pay. I sincerely thank the governor because even students from elementary to high school can benefit from this,” she said. She added that this community outreach is timely because she is a working student who barely had money for her education as well as for her health condition.
Another collaborating agency who gave school supplies is the Davao Oriental Provincial Police Office. They also distributed hygiene kit, a free haircut, and facilitated the issuance of police clearance which they rendered free on the first hour of their service.
To increase the number of abaca farmers who will be provided with seedlings later on, the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) gave brochures and technical advisories about abaca farming. PhilFIDA Provincial Officer Joel Alcoser said that they consider establishing a techno demo farm in Banaybanay as well as in other neighboring towns like San Isidro and Governor Generoso.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources gave mahogany and falcata seedlings and financial assistance to farmers. Also, they signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the people’s organization of the said barangays who will benefit from a project under the Enhanced National Greening Program. An initiative for a reforestation program, the agreement is designed to reduce poverty by providing alternative livelihood activities for marginalized households of the said barangays. Recipients are being taught on seedling production and care and maintenance of newly-planted trees.
Also, the Department of Agriculture have turned over 125 bags of coffee seedlings, 500 bags of cacao seedlings, and 25 packs of vegetables seeds to each of the three barangays. Likewise, the Provincial Agriculture Office gave 11,500 bags of cacao seedlings, 100 bags of corn seed wherein each bag weighs 10 kilos and 200 packs of vegetable seeds. On the other hand, the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office gave free vitamins and conducted deworming to domesticated animals, and rendered free rabies vaccination.
Indolores Carcellar, a 62-year old farmer of barangay Mahayag said her prayer of being able to plant seeds of great quality is answered. “I am very grateful that there are free seedlings distributed because our farm has low yield due to the low quality of the seedlings we bought,” she said. She also appreciated the presence of the veterinarian because she raises animals like cattle and pig.
The Davao Commercial Agricultural Research Station (DaCARS) also gave planting materials and cacao seedlings.
The Department of Agrarian Reform has offered free legal assistance, scholarship program for CARP beneficiaries, re-documentation of collective CLOA, survey of CARP areas, and introduced life insurance. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority who rendered free body massage and haircut also offered scholarship to high school graduates who were not able to proceed to college due to poverty.
Other line agencies and provincial offices present such as the Philhealth, Social Security System, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, among many others, conducted information dissemination and free consultation.
Governor Dayanghirang said that the three barangays in Banaybanay are not the last recipients of the provincial government’s effort to alleviate the socio-economic condition of the province. -Riza M. Golez