Feature: Civic actions prove army has a heart
by Noel Baguio
Davao City (19 February) -- The Philippine Army indeed has a heart and it really cares for the poor Indigenous People communities in the tribal town of Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
Such is the message that the humanitarian activities conducted by the 60th Infantry (Mediator) Battalion is trying to convey, according to its Commander Lt. Col. Adriano Perez.
About a thousand tribal people flocked the army's civic action activity, which includes feeding, gift-giving, free concert, medical and dental outreach, among other programs at Sitio Mesulong in Barangay Sto. Niņo last February 11, 2010.
Dubbed as "Alay ng Sundalo sa Araw ng mga Puso", Lt.Col. Perez said the program is in line with the 10th Infantry Division's "We Care" drive in celebration of the Valentine's Day.
He said the army has been conducting regular medical and dental outreach programs, among other civic actions in order to bring joy and hope particularly to the poor Lumad communities in Davao del Norte.
Last Christmas, Perez revealed the army conducted a series of civic and gift-giving activities, dubbed as ?Pinaskuhan sa Lumad', where they offered gifts even in the farthest community of Sitio Basak, near the boundary of Bukidnon.
He said the conduct of the Love Month activity was made possible through the support of the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte, as well as various stakeholders that include the LGU of Talaingod, DavNor Provincial Police Office, NCCC Mall of Tagum City, KASAKA organization, and the banana growers of Kapalong and Asuncion, among others.
Aside from providing a doctor and boxes of medicines, the Provincial Government also offered pots of steaming rice porridge (lugaw) to the Lumads during the civic at Sitio Mesulong. The initiative is under the Provincial Anti-hunger Task Force.
Elsewhere in the region, the various brigades, battalions and operational commands under the army's 10th Infantry Division also conducted their respective humanitarian programs.
Major General Carlos Holganza, commander of the 10th Infantry Division earlier told members of the media the series of "We Care" events lined up by the military during the Love Month give them the opportunity to show their love to the people "who need our protection, help and care." (CIO Tagum) [top]