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Cotabato to continue ‘Serbisyong Caravan’ in insurgency-exposed barangays

Residents of Barangay Greenhills in President Roxas received free medicines and vitamins during one of Cotabato's Serbisyong Totoo caravans held in October 2023. The distribution of health supplies is one of the activities of the caravan to provide recipients with their basic health needs. (Photo courtesy of the Provincial Government of Cotabato)

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato Province (PIA) -- The provincial government of Cotabato, through the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC), will continue holding “Serbisyong Totoo” caravan in different ELCAC-identified barangays.

Ali Abdullah, provincial director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and head of the PTF-ELCAC Technical Working Group, said the move strengthens the whole-of-nation approach as mandated under Executive Order No. 70, in delivering the government’s basic services to the poor, vulnerable, and at risk of recruitment by communist terrorist groups.

This is to foster a more peaceful and progressive environment for Cotabateños, he said.

In line with this, the task force recently started the formulation of the provincial implementation plan for this year to address the gaps and issues of past implementations.

Abdullah said the move seeks to strengthen the efforts and gains of the 12 different clusters under the PTF-ELCAC.

The provincial government caravan ties up with the national line agencies as well as non-government organizations to deliver various services in each recipient barangay.

Children from Barangay Palma Perez in M'lang lined up at the booth of the Department of Science and Technology-Cotabato Province to get their share of the famous government's enhanced nutribuns distributed by the agency, a regular participant in Cotabato's Serbisyong Totoo caravan. Aside from the nutribuns, the DOST also conducted orientations on their scholarship and livelihood programs to encourage the residents to avail of their services. (Photo courtesy of DOST-Cotabato Province)

Free services under the Serbisyong Totoo caravan are legal, medical and dental, haircut, veterinary, land conflict consultation, land titling, marriage and birth certificate processing, SSS and PhilHealth registration and payment, and driver’s license and motor vehicle registration.

Food supplies such as family food packs, enhanced nutribun, livelihood starter kits, medicines and vitamins, school supplies, fruit and tree seedlings, hygiene kits, tilapia and hito fingerlings, and vegetable seeds are also distributed to residents.

Moreover, orientations on basic first aid, TESDA and DOST scholarships, army recruitment, and many others are conducted during the caravan.

Isip isa ka inahan, mapasalamaton ko kay naka-avail ug libreng ibot sa ngipon ang akoang anak. Para kanamo, dako gyud kini nga oportunidad kay dili na namo kinahanglan mugasto sa pag-avail sa serbisyo sa usa ka dentist [As a mother, I am grateful that my son was able to avail free tooth extraction. For us, this is a great opportunity because we don't have to spend money to avail the services of a dentist],” said Nerissa Ligue, a resident of Barangay Marbel, Kidapawan City.

Meanwhile, last year, the task force was able to conduct Serbisyong Totoo caravans in the barangays of Marbel, New Bohol, Katipunan, and Malinan in Kidapawan City; Allab, Datu Mantangkil, Ganatan, Napalico, and Meocan in Arakan; Malatab and Magsaysay in Antipas; Gubatan, Datu Sundungan, Illustre, and Greenhills in Pres. Roxas; Malungon and New Baguio in Makilala; Magbok in Tulunan; Latagan in Matalam; and Palma Perez in M’lang.

Banajera Reyes, a resident of Barangay Greenhills, Pres. Roxas, and also the president of the KALIPI Women’s Organization, thanked the provincial government and its partners for bringing the caravan to their place.

"Bilang pangulo sang organisasyon sa mga kababaihan diri, nalipay gid ako kag nagapasalamat kay sa kadugay nga panahon karon lang ko nakatesting nga may amo sini, nga damo nga ahensiya ang pwede namon palapitan sa isa lang ka lugar sa isa ka adlaw [As the head of the women's organization here, I am very happy and thankful because, for a long time, I just know now that there are many government agencies that we can approach in just one place in a day]," she said.

Gov. Emmylou Mendoza encouraged residents of Barangay Malinan, Kidapawan City, to support the programs of the government, particularly those that promote peace and progress. The governor made the call during the conduct of the Serbisyong Totoo caravan in September 2023. She also urged the residents to get actively involved in the campaign against insurgency. (Photo courtesy of the Provincial Government of Cotabato)

Gov. Emmylou Mendoza expressed optimism that, with the continued support of concerned agencies and stakeholders, the caravan will bear fruits of lasting peace and progress in Cotabato province. 

She said the caravans benefited thousands of residents from these barangays, who expressed gratitude for the assistance given to them.

“The government sees to it that the welfare of the people is given priority by means of implementing programs to address the needs of all sectors of society,” the governor emphasized, urging recipients to value the assistance they received from the government.

Several towns in the province are also recipients of the ongoing implementation of infrastructure projects under the Local Government Support Fund—Support to the Barangay Development Program (LGSF-SBDP) of the DILG for ELCAC priority areas. (SJDM – PIA Cotabato Province)

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