Despite rough, muddy roads and rainy weather brought by the Low Pressure Area, the 10th Kauswagan Caravan of the Provincial Government of Northern Samar continued with its commitment to deliver the government services in Brgy. Bagacay, clustered with barangays Bangon, and Osmeña, all of Palapag town on March 10.
Some 768 families from these three villages of Palapag have benefitted the Kauswagan Caravan aimed to bring basic needs to the indigents in remote areas.
“Kauswagan Caravan is a whole-of-nation approach wherein the provincial government, national government, as well as the private sector are converging their efforts towards delivering the most needed services to the countryside,” Governor Edwin Marino Ongchuan said.
The caravan also ensures that people in the hinterlands are provided an opportunity to avail of free services and assistance, Governor Ongchuan said.
Among the services provided include the distribution of free eye glasses, goodies and toys for children from the Office of the Governor; distribution of planting materials, and orientation on abaca production (PHILFIDA); distribution of tilapia fingerlings, fish nets/cages and feeds (BFAR); information dissemination on micro enterprise; and distribution of coconut seedlings and Masterlisting for National Coconut Farmers Registry System (PCA).
The Department of Education also conducted an information drive regarding the reopening of limited face-to-face classes and advocacy campaign for out-of-school youth through Alternative Learning System (ALS).
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), the lead Agency of the Kauswagan Caravan, distributed family food packs, processing of financial assistance to qualified individuals/families, distribution of flyers on ECLIP and LSIP, information drive about programs for children, youth, women, family, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) conducted mobile registration for the Philippine National ID System, issuance of live birth, CENOMAR, and certificate of marriage.
The University of Eastern Philippines provided 1,000 fruit-bearing trees and seedlings (pili, cacao, malunggay, etc.), acceptance of application forms for scholarship program. Some 500 pair of slippers, biscuits, and milk drink were also given to the indigent families.
Distribution of face mask, family development sessions (FDs) on financial literacy to Pantawid beneficiaries, and interview of non-Pantawid families for possible inclusion to the program was conducted by DSWD.
The Northern Samar Provincial Police Office (NSPPO) took charge of the security and orderliness during the event, distributed flyers on anti-criminality, and shared 100 family food packs.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) distributed free medicines for circumcision, free hair-cut, provided mobility with their three military trucks, provision of parachute tent, and assisted in securing the participating agencies during the caravan. The Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) spearheaded the crowd control and manpower augmentation.
Board Member Fawa Batula also sponsored free medicines for circumcision.
The Department of Health (DOH) and Provincial Health Office (PHO) conducted free medical check-up, COVID-19 vaccination, free dental services, circumcision, with the assistance of the health personnel of the Rural Health Unit of Palapag.
The Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) provided some farm tools to the farmers while the Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO) distributed some garden tools.
The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) distributed vitamins for animals, and conducted free anti-rabies vaccination.
Free legal consultation, free notarization, and distribution of snacks for children was conducted by the Provincial Legal Office (PLO) while the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) distributed IEC materials particularly on children’s rights and protection.
Information drive on responsible parenthood, distribution of contraceptives, and screening of Iskolar ng Bayan were conducted by the Provincial Population Office (PPO) while the Provincial Cooperative and Community Affairs Office (PCCAO) conducted information sharing about its program and services.
The Philippine Red Cross also initiated free blood typing while the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) conducted information drive on their programs and services.
The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) conducted skills mapping, free hair-cut, free manicure and pedicure, and free hand and body massage.
The Pag-IBIG Fund Member Service Office also conducted membership registration, orientation about the mutual fund, distributed flyers and pamphlets, while PhilHealth conducted registration of MDR for senior citizen, Pantawid members, indigents and existing members.
The Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCII) also distributed family food packs while the Mc Donald Catarman Branch sponsored the conduct of parlor games and prizes for the children to make the caravan more festive.
The Northern Samar Public Employment Office (NSPESO) conducted employment coaching for out-of-school youth.
The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the Provincial Information Office (PIO) were in-charge of the media coverage and production of press releases.
Meanwhile, Palapag Mayor Marlo Isidoro Agno and the four barangay captains expressed appreciation and gratitude to the governor and to the different national government agencies for their services rendered and the unwavering support despite the difficulty of transportation to reach the remote barangays.
The three barangay chairpersons -- Arnel Orsua of Bagacay, Gil Ano of Osmeña, and Medarda Nasam of Bangon -- expressed overwhelming joy and were teary-eyed as they delivered their messages, saying this is the first time they were visited by a governor, provincial, and national officials just to deliver the government services.
“We are deprived of these basic social services for so long a time, and now it is here in the grounds of Bagacay, so let us all cooperate and be thankful of the many services provided by the provincial government and the national government agencies,” said Barangay Chairperson Orsua.
Barangay Bangon Chairperson Bernarda Nasam said, “How I wish a bridge be constructed soon going to Brgy. Bagacay, so that when the typhoon and rainy season come, we can easily buy goods and transport patient during emergencies.”
With this situation, we could hardly travel to buy the necessary basic commodities as the river channel during rainy season is risky to access due to high waters, she added.
Barangay Bagacay is accessible through a banca during rainy season and motorcycle or chariot during dry season.
A tree planting activity to raise awareness to the community of the importance of planting and saving trees, expressing concern to the environment, and diminish the unfavorable effects of climate change formed part of the caravan.
Meanwhile, Governor Ongchuan and his wife Bles Ongchuan while in the barangay find time to visit poor families to really know the real situation as part of their regular deep dive activity where they personally gave financial assistance, distributed family food packs, and toys for the children.
The Kauswagan Caravan is a flagship program of Governor Edwin Marino Ongchuan aimed to empower the poor, marginalized, and disadvantaged individuals and families, especially those from the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, through education and information. (LDL/TBC/PIA Northern Samar)