Camp Bautista, Sulu – National officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) together with Local Government Units (LGU), Non-Government Organizations and officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) firmed up humanitarian programs in Sulu in a series of meetings Thursday afternoon.
The DSWD delegation from the national office headed by Dir Maristela Abenojar and ASec Darwin Rasul III of DSWD ARMM met with LGU representatives, NGO Hope Inc., and allied groups; and Joint Task Force Sulu officers to craft out the details of plans previously worked out a few weeks ago in a coordinative meeting on the implementation of development projects and humanitarian programs in Sulu.
Particular concern laid out to be addressed is the plight of the internally displaced persons in areas of conflict. Sustainment method, appropriate measures, and filling of gaps in collaboration with NGOs were essentially discussed.
It may be recalled that a string of visits and collaborative works were done by Officials from the Office of the President, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways and DSWD with LGU, NGOs, and the AFP to further enhance inter-agency efforts and stakeholder collaboration. The series of meetings are geared towards addressing the immediate needs of people affected by the conflict and delivery of basic services: and the long-term goal of addressing the issues of poverty, lack of infrastructure, lack of education and lack of opportunity believed to be the roots of insurgency and criminality in Sulu.
Brig. Gen. Dela Vega, Commander of JTF Sulu said “The collaboration of different government agencies and Non-Government Organizations exemplify the time-honored tradition of Bayanihan deeply engrained in our culture as Filipinos. The Bayanihan of government instrumentalities and civilian stakeholders in bringing necessary services will greatly help in addressing the basic causes of insurgency and criminality in Sulu”.