A group of social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development are returning back to Manila after their one-stop service event in Kapalong, Davao del Norte was aborted on Thursday, Aug. 31. The DSWD team brought with them 2,500 family food packs but was refused entry by the tribal leaders in Barangay Gupitan. Photos courtesy of Ryan Kim Pescadera/Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Government social workers were prohibited by the local government unit from holding its one-stop shop service in a far-flung community in Kapalong town, Davao del Norte province on Thursday, August 31.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was scheduled to hold its fifth one-stop service in Mindanao, this time in Sitio Patil, Barangay Gupitan on the same day until September 1.

However, Ron Papag, focal person of DSWD central office, said: “the baganis do not want us to proceed.”

Baganis are tribal warriors that are said to be trained to help the government’s counter-insurgency campaign.

This, despite DSWD’s courtesy call with the municipal government and representatives from various villages in Kapalong, Papag told Davao Today in a phone interview.

Papag said they agreed to send an advance party to inform the tribal leaders in the community about the activity of the DSWD. But he said they were later told that they were not allowed to proceed to the community.

“Our DSWD field personnel told us that it was the mayor who didn’t want us to proceed, but the IP Mandatory Representative Arturo Davao said his ‘man on the ground’ told him that the community does not want us to go,” Papag said.

There were at least 17 DSWD personnel from Manila who traveled to this town for the activity. Papag said they were confused why the community would not want the service of the agency.

“We are part of the government and our objective to bring the service of the government to the unserved and underserved communities,” he said.

The one-stop shop aims to bring the DSWD service nearer to the IP communities.

Among their programs are the validation of the possible beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer; orientation for sustainable livelihood program; validation and orientation of the Kalahi-CIDSS program for small infrastructure; validation of potential beneficiaries of the social pension program for the indigent senior citizen; identification of possible beneficiaries for the supplemental feeding; and the distribution of 2,500 family food packs.

The incident comes after the Commission on Appointment denied former DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo who was among the leftist cabinet members appointed last year by President Rodrigo Duterte. (davaotoday.com)

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