About 11,000 residents of three hinterland barangays of Escalante, Toboso and Calatrava, Negros Occidental, have availed of government services facilitated by the Provincial Peace and Integration Development Unit of Negros Occidental.
This was through the “Marching for Peace, Serving the Countryside’ activities that started since last week, Col. Jon Aying, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday.
The 3rd leg of the activity, spearheaded by the Pro-PIDU of Negros Occidental, was held Saturday in Brgy. Malatas, Calatrava, led by local government, military and police officials, various government agencies and civil society groups.
They rendered medical and dental consultations, free massage and haircuts, veterinary aid, and other services in Brgy. Malatas, Calatrava, Aying said.
Similar activities were also held earlier in Brgy. Bandila, Toboso and Brgy. Paitan, Escalante City, that were attended by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and other provincial government officials.
The concerns raised by residents to Marañon included the need for a farm-to-market road, water and irrigation system, electrification and school buildings, as well as livelihood projects to augment their income.
In Brgy. Paitan, Escalante City, Marañon assured residents and school officials that a burned school will be repaired and a water system will be constructed in the place.
Aside from extending humanitarian assistance to the residents of conflict-affected communities, the Philippine Army and National Police also held a “foot march” from Brgy. Bato in Sagay City to Brgy. Paitan in Escalante, Brgy. Bandila in Toboso to Brgy. Malatas in Calatrava on Saturday.
Similar activities will be held this week in two more hinterland barangays of Escalante City, that will end with a peace rally on July 14. *GPB