DSWD Field Office 1 provided a total amount of PhP510,489.00 worth of aid such as financial assistance, hygiene kits, and family food packs to some 100 vulnerable individuals and residents who denounced and withdrew support to the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) at Brgy. Suagayan, Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur during the partnership outreach program and information caravan with the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 1 of the Philippine National Police Regional Office 1.

DSWD staff hand hygiene kit and family food pack to a participant during the community outreach program cum information caravan.

Mildred, not her real name, shared after the activity that she is grateful for the government services particularly the DSWD aid she received because these can help augment her daily needs. “Maganda ang ganitong program dahil lumalapit po kayo sa mga tao para magbigay ng tulong at ipaalam ang iba’t-ibang programa ng gobyerno. Sana magtuluy-tuloy po ito (This program is good because you reach out to the people to provide help and inform us of the various programs of the government. I hope this continues),” she happily narrated. Mildred received PhP5,000.00 financial assistance which she can use to yield her farm produce.

Ms. Fe G. Sarmiento, Social Welfare Officer III of the Field Office, discussed the different programs and projects of the Department which can be accessed by the people to improve their level of well-being. She highlighted that DSWD is a national government agency which provides augmentation support to the local governments. This information caravan is part of the Agency’s initiative to continuously strengthen its communication advocacies about its programs and services across the country.

Meanwhile, DSWD FO 1 Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo emphasized that the Department must reach out to communities particularly the vulnerable areas to ensure equitable provision of government programs including the delivery of social welfare and protection services. The Department, at all times, recognizes the needs of these communities to promote their rights within the framework of national unity and development and ensure their economic and social well-being.

The collegial government effort in encouraging individuals to withdraw membership and support to CPP-NPA is intended to cleanse minds on communist ideology and bolster outlook and principles to condemn any form of insurgency in the Region and the country in general. This is also in support to the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 or the institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, creating a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, and directing the adoption of a national peace framework. # Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit