Davao City (DSWD XI) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday extended assistance to some 200 teachers and lumad students from the community schools in Talaingod, Davao del Norte and some parts of Compostela Valley Province who staged a week-long protest in front of the regional office of the Department of Education, for alleged harassment in their area.

Responding to their request for food supply, DSWD immediately provided 100 Family Food Packs and 15 Dignity Kits to Lumad students and teachers from the Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center, Inc. (STTICLCI) and the Association of Community Educators (ACE).

DSWD Undersecretary and Cluster focal person for Mindanao Concerns Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa said, “We recognize the initiative of grassroots organizations such as the STTILCLCI and ACE for their tireless efforts to make education more accessible to far flung communities. We take this as a challenge from our end as a social welfare agency to continue to deliver the much needed programs and services to the most vulnerable and the underserved sectors of our society. DSWD is committed to offer the ‘Maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo at tunay na patas na pagtrato sa komunidad.”

She emphasized that one of the primary mandates of the agency is to provide assistance to the families and communities experiencing emergency situations and displacement due to natural or man-made calamities.

Family food packs include 6 kilos of rice, 4 tins sardines, 4 tins corned beef/beef loaf and 6 sachets of instant coffee/cereal drinks. The dignity kits, on the other hand, contain one piece malong, one pack sanitary napkin, one nail cutter, one tube toothpaste, one toothbrush, one bar soap, one bar detergent, one pail, and a water dipper.

DSWD envisions all Filipinos free from hunger and poverty, have equal access to opportunities, enabled by a fair, just and peaceful society by leading in the formulation, implementation and coordination of social welfare and development policies and programs for and with the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged. (DSWD)