Int’l peace monitors lead free clinic for Lumads in Sarangani

Last Tuesday, a total of 358 T’bolis from the villages of Maligang and Gasi availed of the free services of the "Joint Medical Mission for Peace" by the Malaysian-led IMT, the local government unit of Kiamba and Kalinaw Sarangani Unit under the Office of the Governor, at the compound of the barangay hall of Maligang.

Malaysian doctor Meor Adzary from the IMT’s medical team was joined by Dr. Harry M. Famular of the regional office of the Department of Health to provide free medical check up.

The IMT medical team brought boxes of medicines that could cater to 600 patients.

Cough, fever, flu, headache, skin allergy and diarrhea were the major complaints among the children. Adult patients complained mostly of gastritis, flu, body ache, migraine, sleeping disturbance and difficulty urinating.

Cmdr. Zainudin Mat Zain, RMN, Team Site 4 leader of the IMT, said the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Malaysian government provided the medicines and vitamins.

He thanked the local government unit of Kiamba and the governor’s office for the assistance to the medical mission. “If we work as a team, we can achieve whatever we plan,” he pointed out.

Aside from the free medical services to the Lumads, the mission also included free birth registration by the local civil registrar, distribution of free seedlings of trees, and immunization and branding of livestock by the Municipal Agriculture Office.

The regular session of the municipality’s Sangguniang Bayan was held simultaneous with the medical mission. Vice Mayor Dr. Elmer T. de Peralta explained it was intended to let the people know that the local government is reaching out to its constituents and hear their voice. He added that they will hold their session in the various barangays once a month.

The staff of the Kalinaw Sarangani Unit (KSU) and Maligang barangay health workers served as interpreter, crowd controller and assistant in the distribution of medicines.

Maligang is identified as one of the 35 peace and development communities (PDCs) of the province. PDCs receive intervention from the peace and development program of the province through the KSU. These services include seminars on mediation, culture of peace, provision of Tindahan para sa Kalinaw, Botika ng Barangay, and other social services.

T’bolis comprise 95 percent of the population of both villages with high illiteracy rate among the adults. Abaca, corn and copra are the major produce of the two villages, farming being the major economic activity.

The IMT, composed of contingents from Malaysia, Libya, Brunei, and Japan, is tasked to monitor the ceasefire agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) while the peace talks are ongoing. The Malaysian government facilitates the GRP-MILF peace process.

Gov. Miguel Rene A. Dominguez and Kiamba Mayor Rommel Falgui expressed their thanks to the IMT for their humanitarian mission. (Gandhi C. Kinjiyo / MindaNews)

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