“After three days of intense protest which resulted in several confrontations, we have finally achieved what we came for. This is a victory for the people,” said Karlos Trangia, Barug Katawhan spokesperson.
BY DAVAO TODAY
Davao City, Philippines — After three days of barricading the Department of Social Welfare and Development regional office, the typhoon Pablo survivors finally got what they came here for.
After hours of negotiation on Wednesday at the DSWD office, DSWD officials and leaders of the Barug Katawhan movement of Pablo survivors reached an agreement on the distribution and validation of relief goods.
The government agency committed to provide the 10,000 sacks of rice and other relief operations until June this year. They also agreed to release 100 sacks of rice for immediate relief to the survivors to bring home.
A system of validation would be set up to determine the amount of goods and verify relief are delivered promptly. The system would be a partnership between Barug Katawhan, DSWD, local government units and the relief and environment advocacy group Balsa Mindanao.
The four groups signed an agreement consisting of these seven points:
- Strict validation to be implemented in case of inadequate supplies received through a partnership between Barug Katawhan, Balsa Mindanao, local government units and the DSWD
- Quantities must be identified immediately as they are the basis for releasing relief goods
- Relief operations to continue until June 2013
- Hasten validation of the quantities of relief goods needed and areas where insufficient or no supplies have been received, according to a list to be compiled by Barug Katawhan
- 100 sacks of rice to be given to protestors when they return to their villages
- No retaliation between Barug Katawhan, the local police and DSWD
- If there are any problems in implementing the agreement, representatives from Barug Katawhan, Balsa Mindanao, DSWD and an environmentalist group will immediately meet to discuss the issues
Barug spokesperson Karlos Trangia was elated as he showed the signed agreement to fellow survivors, who braved police harassments the past two days.
“After three days of intense protest, which resulted in several confrontations, we have finally achieved what we came for. This is a victory for the people,” said Trangia.
“I am also thankful to DSWD for listening and satisfying our demands,” he added.
Both parties also agreed to stop plans of filing cases against each other.
The protesters broke to cheers and dance from Lumad members.
Prof. Mae Fe Templa of Balsa Mindanao acknowledged efforts of provincial DSWD officials from ComVal-LGU-PSWDO, DSWD ASec Gudmalin, DSWD Regional Management Team to come up with a “win-win resolution for the Pablo survivors’ concerns and immediate need.” (www.davaotoday.com)