Malaysian Truce Observers Hailed, Praised In South RPFebruary 21, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
Malaysian doctor Meor Adzary from the GRP-MILF International Monitoring Team gives free check-up to a T’boli woman in the village of Maligang in Kiamba town in Sarangani province. (Mindanao Examiner Photo/Gandhi Kinjiyo)
SARANGANI, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 21, 2008) – Malaysian truce observers deployed in southern Philippines provided free medical care to hundreds of indigenous people as part of their commitment to help poor communities in Mindanao.
The Malaysians, members of the International Monitoring Team, were assisted by local health volunteers during the day-long humanitarian mission held in the town of Kiamba in Sarangani province.
Most of those who benefited from the medical mission were T’boli natives in the villages of Maligang and Gasi on Tuesday. “Dubbed as “Joint Medical Mission for Peace,” the activity was sponsored by the GRP-MILF International Monitoring Team, the Local Government Units of Kiamba and Kalinaw Sarangani Unit under the Office of the Governor of Sarangani,” said Kiamba Vice Mayor Dr. Elmer de Peralta.
Malaysian doctor Meor Adzary, from the Medical Team of IMT, was joined by Dr. Harry Famular, from the Department of Health-Region 12 in providing free services the villagers.
“The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process and the Malaysian Government provided the medicines and vitamins,” Cmdr. Zainudin Mat Zain, RMN, Team Site 4 leader of the IMT revealed.
Zainuddin also praised local government units of Kiamba and the Office of the Governor for the assistance to the medical mission. “If we work as a team, we can achieve whatever we plan,” he said.
In order to maximize services to the beneficiaries, free birth registration by the Local Civil Registrar, distribution of free seedlings of trees immunization and branding of live stocks by the Municipal Agriculture Office was also held.
The regular session of the Sangguniang Bayan of Kiamba was held simultaneously during the medical mission. “This is done in order to let the people know we’re trying to reach them out and hear their voice,” the vice mayor said.
The staff of the Kalinaw Sarangani Unit (KSU) and Maligang Health Workers served as interpreters and assisted in the distribution of medicines.
Maligang is identified as one of the 35 Peace and Development Communities (PDCs) of the province. PDCs receives intervention from the Peace and Development Program of the province through the KSU such as seminars on mediation, culture of peace, provision of Tindahan para sa Kalinaw, Botika ng Barangay, and other social services.
T’bolis comprise 95% of the population of both villages with high illiteracy rate among the adults. Abaca, corn and copra are the major produces of the two villages. Farming is the major economic activity of the constituents. The IMT, composed of contingents from Malaysia, Libya, Brunei, and Japan, is tasked to monitor the ceasefire agreement between the GRP and the MILF while the peace talks in ongoing. The Malaysian government facilitates the GRP-MILF peace process.
With the presence of the IMT for more than two years, there was a remarkable reduction of incidence of skirmishes between forces of government and MILF.
The MILF is the largest group of Moro secessionist in the country.
Governor Miguel Rene A. Dominguez and Kiamba Mayor Rommel Falgui expressed their appreciation to the IMT team for their humanitarian mission. (Gandhi Kinjiyo)