VIGAN CITY, Feb. 23 (PIA) – Residents of remote or geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) in Gregorio Del Pilar, Ilocos Sur received various assistance from the member-agencies of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) and the local government unit (LGU) of Gregorio Del Pilar through a Serbisyo Caravan.
More than 500 residents of Barangays Alfonso and Matue-Butarag benefitted in the caravan, which was held on February 18, as a result of the PTF-ELCAC's community-based dialogue cum oath of allegiance of the reoriented exploited masses on January 11.
Basic services such as free medical check-up and medicines, COVID-19 vaccination, haircut, and provision of food packs, hygiene kits and relief packs, dental kits, slippers, snacks and vitamins, and agricultural products, among others were provided by the Department of Health through the LGU's Rural Health Unit, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Ilocos Sur Police Provincial Office, Department of Agriculture through the National Tobacco Administration, ACDI Multipurpose Cooperative-Vigan City, and Rotary Club-Ilocos Sur Chapter.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, along with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Department of Labor and Employment, discussed and presented to the community its various programs and services they can avail.
Moreover, the Department of Trade and Industry awarded livelihood kits (live hogs, goats and chicken, and sari-sari store packages) to some 50 former underground mass organization members and/or mass supporters through its Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa program.
Prior to the activity, some 80 fisherfolk also received a total of 40,000 tilapia fingerlings from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Armando Borromeo, barangay chairperson of Alfonso, expressed his gratitude to the government for continuously providing assistance to their community.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa gobyerno lalong-lalo na rito sa ELCAC program dahil isa ang aming komunidad sa mga benepisyaryo ng iba’t ibang serbisyo ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno. Napakaganda nito dahil nabibigyan ng agarang atensyon ang mga pangunahing pangangailangan talaga ng aming komunidad. Nawa'y magpatuloy ito,” Borromeo said.
He also thanked the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police for strengthening the security in their community, saying that the Community Support Program (CSP) greatly contributes to the maintenance of peace and order in the community.
Started September last year by the troops of the 81st Infantry Battalion of the 7th Infantry Division, troops of the 71st Infantry Battalion now continue and strengthen the implementation of CSP in the community.
With these peace advocacy programs, the PTF-ELCAC assures to continue reaching the people especially those from areas formerly infiltrated by the communist terrorist groups by providing assistance which will not only provide livelihood opportunity but also to help reduce poverty in the community. (JCR/AMB/JMCQ/PIA Ilocos Sur)