The provincial government of Davao Oriental formally launched on Friday outreach caravan program dubbed as “Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan” in the remote villages of Taocanga and Rizal in the town of Manay.
More than 2,000 residents in said villages benefited from the launching of the province’s outreach caravan program that pooled the resources of various agencies and stakeholders and deliver various goods and services closer to the people especially those living in geographically isolated and depressed areas.
In a statement to the media here, the provincial government of Davao Oriental said that the launching of the activity saw the broadened partnership of the provincial government, the office of the 1st congressional district, national government agencies, the municipal local government unit, and non-government organizations in bringing services to the people.
Programs and services includes medical and dental checkups, distribution of food packs and school supplies, legal consultations, provision of seedlings, and the conduct of lectures on various important social issues.
“This program is an opportunity for the government to make a difference in the lives of people. This program is tailored to meet the basic needs of these most desperate communities that are seldom reached by the government,” Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang said.
The governor strongly pushed for the program as he wanted to make the government’s presence felt by the people, especially those in marginalized communities that have long been affected by armed conflict and prolonged impact of abject poverty due to lack of opportunities.
The outreach program was also conceptualized as a way of promoting peace particularly in the most destitute communities in Davao Oriental that have long suffered from the ravages of poverty and insurgencies.
The army’s 701st brigade also joined the outreach caravan and contributed its personnel in the delivery of services.
Col. Rodolfo Lavadia represented Col. Bienvenido Datuin, Jr., the brigade commander, during the event.
In his message, Lavadia highlighted the importance of addressing the needs of the people, especially those in impoverished far-flung communities not only as a means to promote peace but also in ushering progress.
The army has provided active role in various activities in the grassroots level in Davao Oriental, particularly through the implementation of Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP).
Through PDOP, the army was able to recommend to the provincial government and line agencies priority areas for the outreach caravan based on the Needs Assessment Survey (NAS) they previously conducted.
For the launching last Friday, the army said the villages of Taocanga and Rizal were chosen as the pilot villages for the program as the areas are considered vulnerable that need the most attention from the government.
Aside from the army who helped in the medical and dental services and provided the transportation of the participants to the outreach caravan, the launching of the program was also joined by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and the Department of Trade and Industry.
The DAR, DENR and NCIP conducted free legal consultations particularly on existing land disputes in the area while the DTI provided the residents with orientation lecture on its programs and projects.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) distributed around 2,000 food packs and conducted feeding program to day care pupils while the Provincial Health Office (PHO) distributed mosquito nets and conducted medical and dental services during the event.
PHO also provided free eye checkup and reading eyeglasses including free medicines and dental kits, and distributed toilet bowls to residents in the area.
The Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), on the other hand, distributed planting materials of various crops such as corn and vegetable seeds, fertilizers, and farm tools while the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office (PVO) conducted information drive on animal health and livestock disease control.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) also facilitated the profiling of coconut farmer’s registry system while the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) conducted an information drive on disaster preparedness enabling their community to become resilient to natural disasters.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Province Engineer’s Office, and the Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative conducted status diagnosis on the infrastructure, roads and electricity in the areas.
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) also conducted advocacy campaign on vehicle licensing and registration.
A non-government organization (NGO), the Global Impact Philippines Foundation also joined the caravan and provided the residents with orientation on their advocacy against human trafficking.
The provincial government added that it is also working to address the long term needs of communities.
Development projects seen to provide long-term impact to communities are also being line-up for implementation.
In the villages of Taocanga and Rizal, the most pressing need the residents longed is the construction of road that will connect them to the town center of Manay towards the markets in major areas of Davao Oriental.
Governor Dayanghirang and 1st District Representative Corazon N. Malanyaon have been pushing for the road concreting project in the area that started this year.
“By allocating a yearly budget for this project, residents who are mostly corn and abaca farmers would soon easily transport their produce to the market, thus promoting socio-economic progress in the local community,” the provincial government said.
The road project will also help boost eco-tourism in the two villages where Lake Diomaboc, considered as one of the top ecotourism destinations in the province, is located.