Issue of March 29, 2020
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DSWD, PA enhance ties vs local armed conflict
by Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera entered into a memorandum of partnership (MOP) with the Philippine Army to address the local armed conflict in the region.

DSWD-Cordillera Director Leo L. Quintilla; Maj./Gen. Pablo M. Lorenzo of the 5th Infantry Division stationed at Camp Melchor F. dela Cruz, Gamu, Isabela; and Maj./Gen. Lenard T. Agustin of the 7th ID stationed at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija signed the MOP on March 13.

The MOP is expected to help in addressing local armed conflicts by ensuring that the disadvantaged communities that are more vulnerable to the threat of insurgency are provided with government services necessary for the improvement of their lives.

“Through our partnership with the Philippine Army, we believe that we can better organize our strategies in the implementation and delivery of social welfare services for us to provide better service to those who are really in need,” Quintilla said.

With the MOP, the DSWD and the Philippine Army shall actively coordinate in the prepositioning and delivery of social welfare and development programs such as but not limited to the Sustainable Livelihood Program, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services National Community Driven Development Program, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation, Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan Program, Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens, and Supplementary Feeding Program.

This also furthers the earlier Memorandum of Cooperation signed between the DSWD-Cordillera and 503rd Brigade of 5th ID which allows the temporary use of available structure within the camps in the region for storing and prepositioning of relief goods to ensure the prompt delivery of assistance to nearby affected communities during disasters.

“Through this strengthened partnership, we are able to enhance our response mechanisms to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in our communities. In terms of mobility and distribution of food assistance, the Philippine Army has a great contribution in reaching our targets, especially those who are in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas,” Quintilla said.

“This partnership is more than just ensuring that we are able to deliver our services. If we become successful on this endeavor, this might be the beginning of a better and more peaceful future for the Cordillera people,” Quintilla said.

The ceremonial signing was witnessed by DSWD Usec. Glen Paje, B/Gen. Laurence Mina, B/Gen. Henry Doyaoen, Colonel Audrey Pascua, DSWD-II Director Fernando de Villa Jr., and DSWD-Cordillera Social Welfare Officer IV Libertine Balicdang.

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