Maguindanao provincial gov’t steps up relief works PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 14:09

More than a thousand indigent Muslim and Christian villagers benefitted from a series of humanitarian missions since Tuesday in ethnic Iranon communities in Maguindanao in support of President Aquino’s Southern Mindanao peace process.

The outreach activities, initiated by the office of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, also included the distribution of school supplies to 630 grade school pupils belonging to impoverished Muslim families in the towns of Barira and Parang.

Hundreds of rubber tree seedlings were also dispersed to ethnic Iranon farmers in the towns of Parang and Barira, both in the first district of the province.

The budget officer of Maguindanao, Lynette Estandarte, said the relief missions in the towns of Parang and Barira were assisted by units of the Army’s 603rd Brigade
and local officials.

Estandarte said the provincial government’s medical and dental teams treated close to a thousand patients from different barangays in Barira, where more than 30 children have also been circumcised free.

Estandarte said they are grateful to the support of local officials and the rank-and-file personnel of the 603rd Brigade for helping them facilitate the relief missions.
A total of 739 medical and dental patients were served during the relief missions in Barangay Landasan in Parang, according to Estandarte.

Volunteer dentists had served more than 200 patients during their missions in the two towns.

Estandarte said the activities were part of the provincial government’s effort to complement President Aquino’s confidence-building measures with Muslim and non-Muslim sectors in the province.

“It’s a regular activity of the provincial government in keeping with its mandate to serve its poor and needy constituents and, at the same time, meant to boost the Mindanao peace process,” Estandarte said.

Estandarte said Mangudadatu wants to show to his constituents that Malacañang, through the provincial government, is sincere in its dealings with local Moro communities.

The relief missions also facilitated the dispersal of 200 rubber tree seedlings each to 50 farmers who were oriented first by government agriculturists on the intricacies and profitability of propagating rubber trees.

Farmers in many parts of Maguindanao have lately been shifting to rubber tree propagation due to the high market value of raw latex and lumps, which are dried and processed and marketed abroad.

“It’s also one good way of addressing the continuing denudation of our hinterlands. Rubber plantations also protect the environment,” Estandarte said.

Estandarte said the governor of Maguindanao is keen on embarking on more relief missions in far-flung communities in the coming weeks.

Records from the medical and social welfare offices of Maguindanao indicate that a total of 11,450 medical and dental patients have been served during relief missions of the provincial government in the past eight weeks alone.