SERVICES CARAVAN. Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan poses with the children, heads of family and Department of Social Welfare and Department (DSWD) officials during the inter-agency service and information caravan at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu last Dec. 21, 2022. The DSWD said on Friday (Dec. 23) the caravan provided services and information to 200 children and 400 heads of family as well as indigenous peoples in street situations. (Photo courtesy of DSWD-7)

CEBU CITY – Around 200 children and 400 heads of family received various services during the one-day inter-agency services and information caravan specially organized for children, families, and indigenous peoples in street situations, a social welfare official said on Friday.

In a statement, Undersecretary Sally Navarro, of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), said the activity held at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City last Wednesday was part of the government’s effort to address the hazardous situations on the streets through programs and services of various government agencies and non-government organizations that directly benefits street dwellers, including members of IP communities.

“Ang araw na ito ay simbolo ng pag-asa at pagmamahal ngayong papalapit na kapaskuhan na bunga ng pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan ng mga ibat ibang sangay ng ating pamahalaan (This day is a symbol of hope and love this holiday season through the unity and cooperation of the various government agencies),” Navarro said.

The beneficiaries who showed up at the event received hygiene kits, homelife kits, noche buena (Christmas eve) packs, educational and livelihood assistance as well as school kits.

They also availed of medical and dental checkups, vaccination, national ID registration and hair grooming, and participated in the jobs fair.

Earlier, at least 41 Ati children from the southern city of Naga in Cebu province received their birth certificates while the birth registration of 57 Sama-Bajau children from Sitio Alaska, Barangay Mambaling here was also facilitated.

The agencies that responded to the call of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to create programs that will bring the government closer to the vulnerable sectors include the Department of Health, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Commission on Population, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine Statistics Authority.

According to the DSWD in Central Visayas, partner civil society organizations (CSOs) like the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and Feed the Children also supported the activity.

It said the caravan aimed to provide appropriate services, responsive programs, and share information, education, and communication materials to the profiled children, families and indigenous peoples in street situations, specifically for highly urbanized areas like the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu.

The DSWD has pledged to collaborate with various agencies and organizations to help vulnerable families support the needs of their children so that they will not resort to begging. (PNA)