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Social welfare dept provides relief aid to IP communities in Talaingod

MANILA, Dec. 5 (PNA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Monday it continues to give support to communities of indigenous peoples in the country by meeting their requests for food assistance.

Last Nov. 30, DSWD-Davao delivered 2,091 family food packs (FFPs) worth PHP696,303 to internally displaced persons (IDP) belonging to Manobo tribe families from Barangay Sto. Nino, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

The distribution date coincided with the anniversary of the Salugpungan school, which was established by human rights and church-based organizations that advocate IP rights. A medical mission was also conducted by the Fr. Pops Foundation.

The relief distribution was held in Sitio Tibucag and attended by members of the Manobo tribe coming from the different sitios of Talaingod.

To ensure smooth and systematic distribution of family food packs, the field office sent two DSWD-Davao staff from the disaster unit to assist in the distribution process. The field office was acting in response to a feedback report proposed by PASAKA -- the Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao. Talaingod is the site of several Lumad schools that are recognized by the Department of Education.

The school’s curriculum is dedicated not just for the improvement of students from Lumad communities, but also to help the communities themselves. The schools implement agricultural programs and actively advocates for the preservation of Lumad culture and ancestral land. As such, the school is in solidarity with the Lumad communities against agro-economic ventures that stand to destroy their communities and their traditional way of life.

Another delivery of family food packs is scheduled on Dec. 7 in Purok 4, Barangay Mangayon in Compostela Valley province. Two more planned delivery of FFPs will still be determined, but will be within the area of Caraga, Davao Oriental and Kapalong, Davao del Norte, as well as Compostela Valley.

“We recognize the necessity to help our Lumad brothers and sisters in their defense of their ancestral lands and way of life. The DSWD will contribute what it can within its mandate and means to help them survive their difficulties as they continue their struggle for the recognition of their rights and welfare,” said Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.

“We laud the efforts of our FO XI (Davao) as they reach out to Lumad communities and give them food and other material assistance. It is important that the DSWD performs its mandate to serve the poorest and marginalized sectors of Philippine society and give priority to their immediate needs,” she said. (PNA)

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