Davao del Norte – Authorities are making sure the needs of the 13 Talaingod Ata-Manobo children and youth, who were rescued in Cebu City last month, will be met effectively through the whole-of-government approach.
Responding to Governor Edwin Jubahib’s call for an integrated government response in assisting the Indigenous People (IP) minors and their parents, Mayor Jonie Libayao immediately organized a Technical Working Group (TWG) for the purpose.
During the coordination meeting on Wednesday morning, over 20 TWG-member agencies pledged their commitment in providing relevant interventions vital to reintegrating the rescued nine IP kids and four youth back to their communities.
The interventions include provision of basic needs, psychological debriefing, profiling of the subjects and their parents, livelihood assistance for the parents, continuing educational advocacy, continuing moral/spiritual enhancement program, identification and repair of semi-permanent shelter, deployment of Revitalized Police sa Barangay (RPSB) in their community and improvement of the road going to their village in Sitio Kamingawan in Barangay Palma Gil.
“We are really committed to extend assistance,” assured Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Provincial Director Arlyn Bandong, on behalf of the other member agencies.
She, however, stressed the need for the recipients to determine the trainings they want and the livelihood they want to engage in which generates immediate income.
“Dili pwede nga kita-kita lang ang magbuot sa training intervention para kanila kay dili jud mo-succeed (We cannot dictate on their training needs as it will surely fail),” she stressed.
While the agencies are bound to provide training on beads-making, as what the rescued minors asked the governor, they supported Bandong’s proposal for agri-based skills training for the recipients.
She noted that the government’s training programs on vegetable production and poultry-raising has been particularly successful in Talaingod, courtesy of the governor’s DavNor KAAGAPAY (KAwsa sa AGrikulturA ug PAnginabuhian sa barangaY) program which assured certain market and higher farm gate price for the IPs’ produce.
Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Rose Rapista assured the assistance of the provincial government in augmenting resources for their basic needs, hygiene kits, profiling of the IP kids and their parents, and psycho-social activities.
The province’s Employment and Workforce Development Divison Head Gloria Pamugas also assured the minors will be prioritized in the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), while their parents will be accommodated in the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, both under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Education, Trade and Industry, and Interior and Local Government, the army’s 56th IB, the Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office and the Bureau of Fire Protection, among other agencies, have also committed their active involvement in the convergence effort.