The 1003rd Infantry (RAPTOR) Brigade, 56IB (TATAG) troopers, in partnership with The Word for Everyone Davao (TWED), a christian organization, recently conducted an initiative effort called “Peace Caravan”, in support of the indigenous peoples (IPs) in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
The initiative started last February this year, in which the first Peace Caravan started last March 30, followed by the second one on July 8, and was carried on by its third last September 2, as TWED and other multi-stakeholders showed continuous support and services to the indigenous community.
Over 600 Ata-Manobo individuals were given free medical check-ups, free circumcision, free meals, received food packs, hygiene kits, medicine, vitamins and were provided with spiritual enlightenment through prayer and counseling.
1003rd Brigade commander Marion Angcao said that they have been successful in their campaign to maintain the insurgency-free status of the Brigade’s area of operation (AOR) for the past 365 days.
“With this current crisis, it is our immediate call to link the affected communities with different stakeholders who share goodness to alleviate the hunger of the families. We will always be steps ahead in providing intervention with the support of the LGUs of Talaingod and Davao del Norte and partner stakeholders,” Angcao said.
This started because of the livelihood crisis in Talaingod due to the Abaca production and market issue, which has left the indigenous community without any source of income leading to food insecurity, malnutrition and illnesses, migration, looting and student absences.
Angcao also said this activity aims to strengthen partnerships with government agencies, stakeholders, NGOs and advocacy groups to deliver basic services to the most remote areas of the community, and to help improve the health of people where most basic services are inaccessible.
Blair Cuares, TWED’s church pastor, shared that the caravan was born on their compassion for the “Peace Champions”, or also known as the former high profile NPA rebels in the area.
“We started to minister the Peace Champions through the Spiritual Healing and Counseling Program inside the 1003rd Raptor Brigade in Mahayag Bunawan, Davao City back in September 24, 2022 until present. So in response to the present situation in Talaingod, we started to form an inter-agency team from the government and other religious groups, including our church,” Cuares said.
The initiative is also in collaboration with the Global Impact, Pajero United Mindanao, Harvest House, Pegsabeka, LGU Talaingod and Provincial Government of DavNor.
Public are also free to support the said initiative, by giving in-kind financial services and further communicating through their email at email@example.com.
Photos by Mark Perandos
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