DAVAO ORIENTAL–More than six thousand poor residents in four villages here are “deeply moved” to have received “government goods and services right on their door-steps” during the Nagka-kaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental (NLD) Barangay Outreach Cara-van.
A flagship program of Governor Nelson Dayang-hirang, the caravan aims to bring government services closer to the people.
The latest recipients of the program are the villages in Mati City, namely Bara-ngays Culian and Sanghay on April 19 and Barangays Libudon and Danao on April 20.
The caravan saw the participation of 26 agencies from the national, regional, provincial and local level that have converged and offered social, medical, veterinary, entrepreneurial and consultation services.
Residents of these villages who are mostly farmers say they are over-whelmed of the help, espe-cially now that weather extremes have drastically affected their crops. “Seeing all these goods and services is truly a relief,” said one farmer.
“This is my first time to receive free goods and services from the govern-ment and I am deeply moved because they really came here to serve us. We can’t even afford to buy sufficient rice because my husband is an underpaid laborer in a farm. It’s like receiving gifts right in our yard,” says Mayet Basa, a mother of two primary students and a one year-old baby girl.
The punong barangays here underscored that NLD is “an example of the province’s good gover-nance worthy of people’s appreciation and gratitude.”
“This is the most fortu-nate occasion for us. We are in dire need of these services and the govern-ment has made us feelreally overwhelmed,” said Ane-cito Genardino, punong barangay of Culian.
Putting social services as one of the major con-cern in these areas, food packs, day care school supplies, school bags and supplies were distributed.
The advocacy on public health was likewise intensified. Aside from free medical consultation, checkup and dental ser-vices, tarpaulins which promote public health awareness such as teenage pregnancy, AIDS, ill effects of cigarette smoking, and rabies awareness were displayed on the venue of the two-day caravan.
Diosdado Pahid, the punong barangay of Sang-hay said that “bringing the government at the grass-roots level is really com-mendable.”
While the villages are primarily dependent on agriculture as a major source of income, the agriculture sector has also been given priority. Seed-lings of cacao, mangosteen, durian, coconut, and bana-na cardava were distri-buted to farmers in the four villages. Seeds of corn and vegetables and thousands of tilapia fingerlings were likewise distributed.
Inaccessible no more
During the caravan, Governor Dayanghirang has announced that a road project amounting to P246 million will be implemented covering the National Highway and the inter-connecting road of Culian and Sanghay.
Also, P86 million was allocated for completion of the road concreting in Libudon and Danao.He said that these road pro-jects will pave way to the continued delivery of government services to these villages.
Villagers whohave long been suffering from armed struggle due to the area’s inaccessibility for public services will finally be addressed, says Punong Barangay of Danao Cle-mente Gubalane.
As partner of the pro-vincial government in reaching out to these con-flict-affected areas, Col. Reuben Basiao, the Com-mander of the 701st Bri-gade of the Philippine Army, has urged the resi-dents here to cooperate with the government’s strengthened efforts towards peace and deve-lopment. He added that the Philippine Army will always open its door to the insurgents who want to return to the folds of the government.
The Governor hasalso asked the peoples’ unity as “the residents’participation is the key to attaining true and long-lasting peace”. Riza M. Golez