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Soldiers bring basic services to Davao Oriental's remote village

Despite the bad weather, soldiers of 701st Infantry brigade together with the local police delivered basic services to more than a hundred residents of Sitio Bitanagan, Brgy. Old Macopa in Manay, Davao Oriental.

Around 102 households benefitted the 'Operation Tuli', distribution of school supplies and food packs from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) XI.

Also, six units solar panels from the Provincial Local Government Unit of Davao Oriental were also handed over to the residents.

The bad weather condition did not stop the army team led by Lt Col Enrique Rafael, the Executive Officer of 701st Infantry brigade together with 1Lt Jhocell De Asis, 1Lt Francis Hernaez of 66th Infantry battalion, 1103rd Regional Mobile Force Battalion and youth volunteers from Lumon community to deliver services which rarely received by the community. The area was remote reachable only hy foot and the route was slippery.

Reaching the village was a daunting task as it takes almost three hours of walking before the team arrived at Sitio Bitanagan.

The activity started with an Inter-Religious Mass presided by Rev. Father Pedrito Paciano Mapayo in celebration of the community's Patronal Fiesta of 'Birhen sa Fatima'.

Immediately after the mass, the team delivered the services to the household beneficiaries.

Also, on the same day was the Launching of Project HALIK (Health, Agriculture, Livelihood, Indigenous Culture, Knowledge).

Project HALIK is a youth community peace and development initiatives bringing basic services of the government for the far-flung communities in Davao Oriental.

Jemwel Masanguid, member of Barangay Local Government Unit - Old Macopa Council, thanked the 701st Brigade, 66th IB, PNP, Lumon Community and other organizers.

Masanguid was grateful that despite the distance and road condition caused by the heavy rains the past days, the team still pursued the activity.

"Salamat kay karong adlawa kamo nibuhi sa among mga kasing-kasing. Salamat kay bisag layo ni anhi jud mo karong adlawa. Nakita namo ang dakong suporta sa gobyerno sa amoa. Suportahan nato ang atong gobyerno", Tita Bacca, Sitio President, said.

In his message, Lt Col Rafael, said that the activity is part of the Executive Order 70 targeting Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAs).

He said it is a concerted effort towards ending Local Communist and Terrorists. "Thank you to the barangay officials for maintaining the peace and order. Because of your cooperation, we have activities like these," he added.

Rafael, added that it is a manifestation that a peaceful environment is conducive for development.

"Don't allow threat groups to manipulate your lives. They are hindrance to our progress. The government is sincere on its call for peace so I reiterate the call for the remaining Communist NPA Terrorists to lay-down their arms and go back to the mainstream of society," he said.

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