KAPALONG, Davao del Norte, Dec. 1 (PNA) -– A team from the different national government agencies (NGAs) held a “Serbisyo Caravan” at Sitio Patel in Barangay Gupitan here on Sunday as a way of bringing government services to the far-flung areas especially to the Indigenous Peoples (IP).
Thousands of locals availed the free service from the Association of Regional National Agencies (ARENA) in the Region 11 Serbisyo Caravan which is also in collaboration with the provincial government headed by Governor Rodolfo del Rosario.
Del Rosario said in his speech that he is happy to see people flocking to the caravan, adding that the recipients were able to save a lot of time and money by directly availing the vital services at their doorsteps instead of going to capital cities or towns.
A multitude of Lumad constituents composed largely of members of Langilan-Manobo tribe from the 43 sitios of the far-flung barangay availed the various services and assistance of the NGAs.
Started in 2011, the “Serbisyo Caravan” is a flagship project of ARENA-XI or the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies in the Davao Region that aims to bring the government closer to the people in far-flung and depressed areas.
Engr. Mariano Alquiza, president of ARENA-XI and Regional Director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-XI), led the one-stop shop of government services.
He said the caravan brought the government assistance down to help alleviate the living condition of the Lumads in Barangay Gupitan, which is Davao del Norte’s largest village that shares its borders with the provinces of Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur.
It may be recalled that the Lumads in the village were recently caught in the fighting between government troops and the communist New People’s Army. Many of them openly expressed their anger against the rebels and have since joined the anti-insurgency drive of the government.
The Department of Agriculture-11 provided 30 bags of certified corn seeds, 100 bags of OPV corn seeds, 10 bags of peanut seeds, 2,500 camote cuttings, 200 packs vegetable seeds, fruit tree seedlings, anti-rabies vaccine, nutritional supplements, antibiotics and dewormers.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-11) also distributed 20,000 tilapia fingerlings, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-XI) distributed 30 toilet bowls, 4,500 family food packs, crutches and other services.
The Department of Health, AFP and DPWH further conducted medical and dental services, while the other agencies provided their respective information and advocacy drive, and a host of relevant services.
Services during the caravan include medical, dental and surgical services, educational assistance, livelihood and capital assistance, supplemental feeding, agri-services and animal care, infra projects, among others. (PNA)