DAVAO CITY—Some 7,000 lumads hosted by the city government in seven shelter areas were sent home Saturday—10 days after they descended from their hinterland communities in time for Christmas.
The lumads were sent home with gifts and pails full of grocery items from the local government.
And when they arrive in their communities, the lumads will be treated to activities designed for them to truly enjoy Christmas.
The Davao City Social Services and Development Office have also distributed 12,000 ration cards in seven lumad communities in Paquibato and Marilog.
CSSDO chief Maria Luisa Bermudo said every day, the city government would provide the lumads with food packs containing two kilos of rice, packs of noodles, and canned goods.
“This is the first time the city government is doing this,” said lawyer Raul Nadela, Jr., chief of staff of Mayor Inday Sara-Carpio.
“And this is because we intend to bring and share the joys of Christmas with our lumad brothers and sisters right to their very communities,” he added.
Activities lined up for the lumads are mass weddings, tribal games, dances, children’s parties, indigenous products showcase, birth registrations, and delivery of health services.
As of Thursday, at least 199 lumad couples in Paquibato and Marilog were married, according to Bermudo.
For the past 10 days, the city government extended food and social services to the lumads, including those who came from communities outside Davao City.
But starting Saturday, the city government will no longer operate the shelters.
“All food assistance and social services will be done in lumad communities,” Bermudo said.