FAR BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY
In spite of the fear of contracting the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the frontliners have continuously provided services such as healthcare, food, security and social services to ensure the protection of the population.
Sadly, these frontliners are experiencing harassment, violence and discrimination from people who see them as possible carriers of the virus.
This prompted the government to penalize those who discriminate against these frontliners through the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Despite the stigma, frontliners continue to be our modern heroes fighting against COVID-19. They risk their own lives to be of service in this time of pandemic – an act far beyond the call of duty.
FROM THEIR OWN POCKETS
Frontliners from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) initiated relief distribution to 29 families of the Manide tribe at Sitio Tumbaga, Barangay San Rafael, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte last May 1, 2020.
The relief goods were bought out of the money collected from DSWD staff as well as from its former employees. Aside from the relief goods, they also gave gifts to 38 IP children.
According to Merlan Nazareno, Area Coordinator of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Norte, a frontliner who provides augmentation at LGU San Lorenzo Ruiz, the aim of the activity is to provide relief goods to Indigenous Peoples (IPs) affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to COVID-19.
“Ang Sitio Tumbaga kung saan matatagpuan ang 29 na pamilya ng Manide ay kabilang sa Geographically Isolated and Depressed Areas (GIDAs) sa bayan ng Jose Panganiban kaya madalas ay kaunti ang tulong nakakarating sa kanila,” Merlan explained.
(The Sitio Tumbaga with 29 families of Manide Tribe is included in the Geographically Isolated and Depressed Areas [GIDAs] of the town of Jose Panganiban, the reason why assistance reaching them is very limited.)
Merlan also shared that they give gifts to Indigenous People every December.
“Dahil may pondo kaming hindi pa nagagamit, napagkaisahan namin na dagdagan pa ito para lumaki-laki kaya nag-ambag pa kami para sa karagdagang pondo,” he said.
(Because we still have unutilized fund, we decided to add more to increase the fund)
To ensure the identification of affected families, the BULWAK, an organization of Indigenous Peoples, spearheaded the identification and coordination with their fellow IP members.
The Area Coordinating Teams of San Lorenzo Ruiz and Vinzons including the former staff of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, coordinated with the National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP) Camarines Norte, Barangay Council of San Rafael, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, to request authorization to conduct the activity.
Some members of Grande Monde Organization also volunteered to assist during the distribution of relief goods while the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) of Talisay, Camarines Norte provided the vehicle for the transport of relief goods.
Merlan also said that giving relief goods to Manide Tribe is a sign of recognizing their rights as Filipinos.
“Ito ay magbibigay ng pag-asa sa mga katutubo at mataas na tiwala sa kanilang sarili bilang isang mahalagang parte ng maunlad na lipunan,” he added.
(This activity will give them hope and trust in themselves as Indigenous People as an important part in the development of the society.)
These DSWD staff not only showed great compassion as frontliners but also showcased the Kalahi-CIDSS’ bayanihan spirit by initiating an activity of collective action in times of crisis. /ramsertan/
ABOUT DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS
Camarines Norte implemented DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS in 12 municipalities with a total implementation grant of PhP508,700,630.00 and local counterpart contribution of PhP11,627,168.27 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.
DSWD allocated Jose Panganiban with PhP39,735,930.00 and local counterpart contribution of PhP478,978.24.
The construction of access road had a total project cost of PhP3,397,598.00 with local counterpart contribution amounting to PhP440,988.00 benefitting 232 household beneficiaries.
The 29 families of Manide Tribe are also beneficiaries of the project that provides improved access to basic services.
For more details about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, follow this link: