By Jennifer C. Tilos
A total of 636 residents in Canlaon City benefited from the medical and dental outreach program and other government services jointly conducted by the Philippine Army’s 302nd Infantry Brigade and the Philippine National Police (PNP) April 13 at Brgy. Panubigan Gym, Canlaon City.
Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, commander of the 302nd IB, said as a continuing program, this activity intends to deliver free health services to the constituents of Canlaon especially those who need medical attention.
Bringing the government services and programs closer to the people counteracts the deception of the CPP-NPAs who promised to help the barangay residents, the army officer said.
PNP reported that during the medical outreach, some 227 individuals have availed of free medical consultation, 112 had their tooth extracted, 139 young boys were circumcised, minor surgery of 8 patients, 112 vaccinated with anti-cervical cancer, 220 received vitamins and medicines, 150 kids received dental hygiene kits, and 150 persons had their eyes checked and received eye glasses.
On top of the medical services, the team also offered free services of massage therapy for 40 individuals, 121 males had their free haircuts, 45 individuals had their nails manicured/pedicured, distributed 500 pair of slippers and 50 balls of basketball and volleyballs, and 340 children received candies, chocolates and stuff toys.
One of the highlights of the activity is the dialogue with the residents of Canlaon with the representatives of all government agencies involved to disseminate the current programs of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte .
Mayor Jimmy Clerego of Canlaon City said that he is thankful to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and PNP for organizing the activity.
He also emphasized to his constituents that the basic services and all government programs aim to improve the lives of every Filipino.
In the same activity, Police Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, Regional Director of Police Regional Office-7 said “It is very important that you are not only aware of the programs of the government but also you understand what is the truth or not, so that you will not be deceived and exploited by the communist organizations and join the New People’s Army.”
During the open forum, Agrarian Reform Officers discussed the process of land acquisition in which the audience realized that they were only deceived and misled for a long time by the communist organizations like KARAPATAN that tried to organize them and promised to help them.
Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Engr. Manuel Galon, Jr. of the Operation Division of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) explained the actions by their office and status of the land areas to be subjected to land reform and distribution.
A report from PNP states that “it was found out during exchanges that lawyers of Karapatan and Gabriela organizations that offered their services had different opinions and legal advice that runs contrary on the procedures of DAR.”
It added that these advisers insisted that these farmers will not follow the government office concerned directives and guidelines but to stick to their advices even though these were wrong and unlawful.
Sinas followed up the answers of DAR that the farmers were duped by Karapatan and misrepresented them and muddled the issues that caused the delay of the project implementation.
Other issues raised during the dialogue include the assurance of the PNP and AFP that there is no such list of targets of police and military operations but requested the participants to detach themselves from dubious organizations.
A representative from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Ooffice of Canlaon City explained the important of preserving the watershed of Negros Island and the reasons why tenants inside the reservations were advice to leave and vacate the area.
Some 400 residents including the barangay chairpersons participated in the dialogue or pulong-pulong from the eight barangays of Binalbagan, Pula, Lumapao, Bayog, Aquino, Linohangan, Masulog, and Panubigan all in Canlaon City.