Government officials led by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman brought some P14 million worth of goods and services for the 3,000 Ata-Manobos, an Indigenous Peoples (IP) group of Talaingod, Davao del Norte during an inter-agency service caravan last week.
Sec. Soliman was joined by Undersecretary Manny Bautista, executive director of Cabinet Cluster on Security, Justice and Peace; Usec. Gettie Sandoval and Assistant Secretary Apple Oreta of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP); and, Asec. Jean Ubial of the Department of Health.
In her message, Sec. Soliman assured the Ata-Manobos of continued assistance to their group and to their town.
Among the services provided during the Serbisyo Caravan were Supplementary Feeding; onsite pay-out for social pension beneficiaries; onsite pay-out for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program cash grantees; and, distribution of family food packs, wheel chairs/assistive devices, and educational supplies.
The DSWD also distributed checks for the beneficiaries of livelihood assistance.
The Secretary added that DSWD will be constructing dormitories near public schools where IP children can stay, since their homes are too far from school.
The inter-agency service caravan is among the initiatives of the government to make programs and services accessible to the public. Priority areas are far-flung and hard to reach places like Talaingod, which is home to the Ata-Manobos, who comprise 72 percent of the total town population.