Feature: Sitio Talos, battlefield no more
By Jean Abangan
Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte (16 September) -- Located at the periphery of Sto. Tomas., the remote settlement of Sitio Talos in barangay San Jose used to be a strategic area for insurgency operation as revealed by 1003rd commander General Eduardo del Rosario.
But the area is now being considered as a thriving haven where members of the Ata-Manobo tribe are living in peace now that they have been given permanent abode through the KALAHI-CIDSS (Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services).
A total of 49 units of housing units partly made of hollow blocks and plywood were built during the third cycle of KALAHI-CIDSS implementation in Sto. Tomas from January 9, 2006 to June 30, 2006.
KC implementer, Department of Social Welfare and Development together with the local government of Sto. Tomas have poured more than P2 million for the tribal housing sub-project.
In an ocular visit led by the Presidential Management Staff, the Ata-Manobo residents of sitio Talos were noted to have relinquished their nomadic lifestyle and have live permanently at the KC tribal housing project site.
Division Chief Mavil Vigil of DSWD XI noted that other government agency projects have come to this far-flung area 7.5 kilometers away from the poblacion, after KC delivered its housing intervention.
The Alternative Learning System adult literacy class is being held every weekend to cater to parents while the Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian Reform Community Settlement Area Development Program (MINSSAD) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has done the much-needed improvement to the sitio's access road.
In an inter-agency meeting General Del Rasario pointed out that Sitio Talos is a manifestation of how the government has gained success in curbing insurgency in the countryside.
Meanwhile, KC also brought to Barangay San Jose, a potable water system level II worth P1.6 million, while a multi-purpose shed valued at P632,250 was built through the Makamasang Tugon.
Sto. Tomas was one of the KC pilot areas in Southern Mindanao. KC ran in three cycles in the area, from 2003 to 2006, pouring in a total of 44 sub-projects. (PIA XI) [top]