By Mike U. Crismundo
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – About 3,000 indigenous peoples (IPs), or lumads, received social services through the “Serbisyo Peace Caravan” held at the covered court of Santiago town, in Agusan del Norte province recently.
The “Serbisyo Peace Caravan” was focused on prioritizing the IP communities composed mainly of the Mamanwa tribe, including residents in far-flung communities in the province, Lt. Col. Rey Pasco, commanding officer of the 4th Civil-Military Operations Battallion yesterday said.
The IPs and residents of various barangays availed of the free dental and medical services, circumcision, and deworming, and were also given pregnancy and hygiene kits,, 600 falcata seedlings, food curls, 500 packs of baby foods.
They were also given skills and livelihood certificates from TESDA, he added.
A total of 27 government agencies, civil society and private organizations in the Caraga region have extended their full support to the caravan.
Meanwhile, the services offered in the recently concluded peace caravan will help in addressing issues on health, poverty, grooming, livelihood, education, social, legal and land concerns, according to Lt. Col. Glenn Joy Aynera, commanding officer of 29th Infantry Battalion (29th IB),
He said the peace caravan was designed to provide priority basic services of the government to the people of Santiago and the rest of the municipalities of Agusan del Norte especially the IPs. “Through this activity, the localities will feel that the government is there for them,” he said.
“It is part of the six-point peace and development agenda of President Duterte’s administration to deliver the socio-economic development in conflict-affected areas,” Aynera added.
During the peace caravan in Santiago town last October 21, provincial and municipal officials, led by Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba, together with the PNP, AFP field commanders, heads of government line agencies and partner stakeholders also affixed their signature on a peace covenant.
Col. Cristobal Zaragoza, commander of 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade, also led the oath-taking of allegiance of the 10 awardees of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program.