MAKILALA, COTABATO – Municipal Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict of the municipalities of Columbio and Lebak both of Sultan Kudarat; and Tulunan, North Cotabato through their Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers and 39th Infantry Battalion jointly conducted a 7-day debriefing to 10 Communist Terrorist agitated youth at Kyllex Resort, Tulunan, North Cotabato from August 9-16, 2021.
The participants who are members of the Indigenous Peoples are from Tulunan, North Cotabato, Columbio, and Lebak all of Sultan Kudarat.
They were rescued by an Inter-Agency group during rescue operations in a “Lumad Bakwit Schools” in the University of San Carlos Campus, Retreat House, Talamban, Cebu City on Feb 15, 2021.
Before the conduct of the 7-day program, the youth has undergone psycho-social examination which became the basis of programs and activities which includes psychosocial interventions, spiritual programs, and alternative learning systems that are essential to reorient and reorganized the mindset of the affected youth.
Facilitators from MSWDOs of Columbio and Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, and Tulunan, North Cotabato who sought permission and consent of the participants’ parents were round the clock supervised the conduct of the program.
Meanwhile, Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Field Office Director Restituto Macuto in his statement during the opening program emphasizes the role of the government in attending to the well being of the marginalized sectors of the society
“As duty bearers, this is a call for us to reach these communities that we are present, accessible, and prioritizing the protection and welfare of children under all circumstances. The government has existing and accessible social welfare services and programs that aim to fulfill the needs, enhance collective well-being and promote equality of opportunities. ” Macuto said.
On the other hand, Mayor Reuel Limbungan of Tulunan, North Cotabato expresses appreciation to the scientific and culture-sensitive approach to youth debriefing.
“This is a unique, conflict and culture-sensitive program that would be a great help to facilitate the mainstreaming and empowerment of affected youth as progressive and active nation builders that eventually encourage them to be productive and spiritually mature role models of their communities.” Limbungan expressed.
The youth participant will be closely monitored by the respective MSWDOs and will undergo another psycho-social examination after a required healing period.