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200 ‘bakwits’ receive special intervention

More than 200 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Marawi Siege and other Counter-Terrorism campaigns of the AFP in Mindanao are undergoing a special intervention program starting yesterday.

The program is called “Kalilintad 911.” Kalilintad is a Maranao term for peace.

Col. Consolito Yecla, the commander of Task Force Davao, said a total of 207 IDPs have completed the initial screening and social investigation to assess their general health and well-being after staying in Davao City for more than two years after the Marawi siege.

While waiting for their turn for the interview and profiling by social workers from CSSDO, Yecla said they were given free medical and dental consultations, along with medicines and vitamins. Food packs were also given to the beneficiaries at the end of the activity at Headquarters, TF Davao in Sta. Ana wharf, Davao City.

Hundreds fled and sought refuge in this city after a firefight erupted on May 23, 2017 in Marawi City.

“The IDPs, especially the orphans and widows, are vulnerable to terrorists’ exploitation,” Yecla said. “The intervention program is necessary to prevent the development of home-grown terrorists or supporters in Davao City.”

Mayor Sara Duterte requested Commissioner Norman Baloro from the Office of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP). Baloro used to work for the City Social Service Development Office of Davao when most of the IDPs arrived from Marawi in 2017.

Also, Baloro stressed the need to look closely into the situation of the IDPs. After assessing their situation through an interview and profiling, Baloro said the IDPs will be first recommended to undergo the “Balik Probinsya” Program, which comes with a transportation allowance from the city.

If this is not possible, they will be given livelihood, educational assistance, and other programs, including the inclusion in the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s social assistance program.

The Task Force Davao will consolidate the beneficiaries and monitor the implementation of the program.

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