From the Website of DWSD
------------------------------------------In a milestone development for the Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) sector, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the PASAKA Confederation of Lumad Organizations represented by Chairperson Kerlan D. Fanagel for the provision of social services to the Lumad community in Mindanao.
Under the MOU, DSWD commits to facilitate the access of the Lumad to the different programs and services of the Department such as Cash for Work; Social Pension to qualified older persons; feeding program; Sustainable Livelihood Program; Modified Conditional Cash Transfer-Indigenous Peoples (MCCT-IP); provision of relief items and establishment of community kitchen during disasters; and, construction of community tribal centers and water source system.
The PASAKA, in turn, vowed to cooperate with the DSWD in the implementation of the services and ensure that funds are properly utilized.
PASAKA will submit to DSWD a list of qualified beneficiaries which will be validated by the Department subject to existing program/service guidelines and laws.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that this MOU is long overdue as the provision of services to the IPs was part of the instruction of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
For this, the Secretary apologized to the Lumad for the delay and reiterated the Department’s commitment to Pres. Duterte’s vision of providing a compassionate service to the IP sector.
Sec. Taguiwalo said, “Kailangang respetuhin ang mga karapatan at kultura ng mga katutubo. Ipadama natin sa kanila ang serbisyong may malasakit dahil sa tuwina sila ang naabuso at napagsasamantalahan (We need to respect the rights and culture of the Lumad. We should also provide them with compassionate service as more often than not, they are victims of abuse and exploitation).”
On the other hand, Chairperson Fanagel expressed their joy and gratitude, “Ang kasunduang it ay tagumpay sa pakikibaka naming mga Lumad at paggigiit ng aming karapatan (This is a victory in our fight for our rights).”
The MOU signing, which formally sealed the partnership of DSWD with the Lumad, was witnessed by officials of the Department and Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago.
Earlier this month, members of PASAKA camped out outside the DSWD Central Office compound to call for the immediate delivery of assistance from the national government to their areas, which are presently affected by armed conflicts and illegal mining activities.
On April 21, the group headed home to Mindanao assured that the needed assistance from the DSWD will reach their communities. ###