LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte (PIA) – More than 200 residents of Sitio Sagpat, Barangay Dipilat in Vintar town were assisted and provided with government services through the community outreach program led by the Joint Task Unit (JTU) Ilocos under Joint Task Group 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army on November 15.
The program was also in partnership with the local government of Vintar, Philippine National Police, Rural Health Unit, and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
According to Major Renante Carsano of JTU Ilocos, the community outreach program is a way of bringing the government closer to the people and enabling them to feel the presence of the government, especially in the remote areas of the province.
"One of our programs is to reach remote areas, including Sitio Sagpat in Vintar, which is on the boundary of the military reservation. This is to show the unity of our government, not just the armed forces, and to distribute the entire service of the government,” said Carsano.
During the program, 83 people were given free medical check-ups, 46 people had their blood types determined, 12 residents got their COVID-19 booster shots, 12 children benefited from the free circumcision, and 44 availed of the free haircut.
Alex Gaston, one of the beneficiaries, thanked JTU Ilocos and the Philippine Army for extending help and assistance to the residents through the outreach program.
"I am very happy that the Philippine Army has provided services, and I am very grateful for the help they have provided to us residents of Sitio Sagpat, Brgy. Dipilat, Vintar. Hopefully, this program will continue to help more of our fellow citizens who are in the secluded area,” said Gaston.
Apart from the free government services, the Army has also introduced their mandates and functions as an ally in helping create an environment conducive for sustainable development and keep long-lasting peace in the communities.
This is to alleviate fear among residents, especially the children who have negative notions about the military personnel.
Noting the success of the event, Carsano said they will be sustaining this program to reach more remote communities that are deprived of such services and assistance.
"We still continue this community outreach program, the reoriented underground mass organization, and the oath of alliance. We will also provide livelihood assistance to the people and organize them as an organization to get funds, making it a sustainable livelihood as part of our people's organization in Vintar and the entire province of Ilocos Norte," Carsano stated. (JCR/AMB/MJTAB/CEC-Intern PIA Ilocos Norte)