Taguiwalo backs ‘lumad’ fight to reclaim their land
SOCIAL Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has expressed support for the lumad (indigenous peoples) struggle to reclaim their ancestral lands that had been taken over by mining and logging companies and large plantations.
In a message to the Solidarity Festival in Koronadal, South Cotabato, Taguiwalo said she supported the lumad in opposing destructive mining and logging that had led to the mass displacement of tribal communities.
Taguiwalo expressed support for the lumad’s defense of their human rights. She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was seeking to improve its services and assistance to lumad communities.
“Specifically, we are working with other government agencies such as the Department of Education to build more schools for lumad children and youth, and to ensure that the projects of the DSWD do not go against the welfare and culture of our lumad brothers and sisters,” Taguiwalo said.
The secretary pointed out the DWSD’s new slogan was “Maagap, Mapagkalinga at May Malasakit na Serbisyo sa Publiko (Efficient, Caring and Compassionate Public Service).”
Taguiwalo had announced on her first day as Social Welfare secretary that under her leadership, the department would exert every effort to address and remedy the impact of military operations on the livelihood, safety, security, schools and welfare of farmers and the lumad.
Taguiwalo assured the lumad of President Duterte’s support in their plight. She said the President had made it clear he did not want a repeat of the Kidapawan City clash between lumad and law enforcers.
At least two people died on April 1 when some 3,000 drought-hit farmers asking the government for rice and food were violently dispersed by police.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.