TALAINGOD, Davao Del Norte- Soldiers of 56th Infantry “Tatag” Battalion headed by Ltc Norman E Valdez INF (GSC) PA, the Battalion Commander visited the lumad community at Sitio Naputkalan, Brgy Sto Niño, Talaingod, Davao del Norte on Saturday, June 29, 2019.
Ltc Valdez gladly interacted with the lumad community headed by Datu Bernardo Bawian and Datu Florendo Andilong, Sitio Tribal Leaders; Mr Landilino Bawian, Sitio Chairman and Pastor Efren Cognay. During their conversation, Ltc Valdez gathered the primary issues and concerns of the lumad community in the said area.
The tribal leaders expressed the community’s lack of source of potable water, concerns on formal education for their children, health problems and facilities, farm to market road, additional registration to 4P’s and the construction of their communal latrine and Tribal Hall.
Hearing all their issues and concerns, Ltc Valdez expressed his support to the tribe in finding ways and solutions to their concerns.
He introduced the Community Support Program (CSP) where the soldiers can become bridges to tap the concerned local government units (provincial and municipal) and national government agencies.
Consequently, he promoted the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government which intends to benefit the rebels (NPA) who want to return to the folds of the law from the armed struggle.
On the other hand, about 60 lumad youths enjoyed the fun games and snacks initiated by the soldiers led by Cpt John Louie Dema-ala, the Civil Military Operation (CMO) officer of the 56th IB and afterwards distributed 20 food packs to the lumad residents.
The lumad leaders and the youths profoundly expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of the soldiers.
In his statement during a brief program, Ltc Valdez said, “This visit aims to win the confidence, respect and trust of the lumad community through socialization with the uniformed personnel while identifying their issues and concerns and bridging the gaps between the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) such as Sitio Naputkalan, and the various concerned national government agencies and local government units for their appropriate aid and interventions.”
The Tatag troopers pledged to continuously look into the welfare of the residents through their CSP.