Mati City, Davao Oriental (DSWD XI) -The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental signed recently the Memorandum of Agreement of the PagHILOM (Healing Intervention Leading to Optimum Management) project for the rehabilitation of victims of torture (VicTors) and Enforced Disappearance (ED) and their families.

PagHILOM (Pagpaayo) is a model of intervention to contribute to the healing, rebuilding of lives, reparation, and access to justice of VicTors and ED by engaging a committed and functional rehabilitation team of service providers and support groups.

Aiming to provide appropriate interventions to lessen the victim’s trauma, the project is a partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Justice (DOJ), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Civil Society Organizations like Families of Involuntary Disappearance (Friends) and Balay Rehabilitation Center.

The program was conceived following a research conducted by the Social Technology Bureau (STB) of DSWD. Based on the result, there is a high incidence of torture and enforced disappearances covering the period from 1983 until the year 2015, said STB Director Thelsa Biolena.

In Davao Oriental, one of the pilot areas for this project, 22 VicTors have been identified to undergo rehabilitation, Director Biolena revealed.

Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat said that victims and families who wish to avail of the services will undergo psychosocial assessment as well as physical, mental, social, and psychological healing interventions.

The VicTors will receive assistance such as educational, medical, spiritual guidance, family intervention sessions, legal, and financial. Families under Enforced Disappearance will get support like exhumation arrangement, food and transportation allowance in search for the relative, psychological and/or psychiatric intervention, economic empowerment and others.

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang thanked the different agencies for the project since Davao Oriental is one area with a high occurrence of torture and enforced disappearance.

Director Jabagat emphasized that PagHILOM will prosper as it will restore and promote the well-being of victims of torture and ED and their families to the fullest possible, by providing appropriate treatment and rehabilitation services towards their search for truth, justice, comprehensive reparations and guarantees of non-repetition. (DSWD)