SITANGKAI, TAWI-TAWI — Two hundred ten indigent families in the far-flung Island Sitios of Brgy. Datu Baguinda Putih, Sitangkai, Tawi-tawi received welfare goods from the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) through its Tawi-tawi Provincial Branch Office during the “All-in-One Bayanihan for Badjao Communities”, an inter-office outreach program on September 9 – 11, 2021.

Each family received 10 kilos of rice and worth Php 1, 000 grocery package which consists assorted canned goods and other food items from MSSD.

This joint community outreach program was materialized by the collaborative efforts of Marine Brigade Landing Team (MBLT), MSSD, the Philippine Navy, Ministry of Basic Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE), Mindanao State University (MSU), Jade Badjao Learning Center, and Sitangkai’s rural health unit and local government unit.

During the three-day community outreach, MSSD also conducted orientation on responsible parenthood and session about youth on early marriage prevention.

There were free medical consultations, feeding program, provision of free medicines, distribution of hygiene kits, school supplies, backpacks, slippers, toys, and other non-food items from the other offices.

The Philippine Navy also transported three (3) tanks of tap water, gallons of drinking water, and medicines.

All the recipients were residents of sitios Panitayan, Andulingan, and Panguan that are located in the southernmost part of the Philippines where Badjaos, Tausugs, and Bisayas co-exist in these islands.

Access to transportation, potable water, and electricity are some of the challenges that the locals face due to their geographical location wherein it would take eight (8) hours traversing the sea from Bonggao, Tawi-tawi to reach the said islands via boat.

According to Tawi-tawi Provincial Social Welfare Officer Belinda Adil, the MBLT, MSSD, and the rest of the participating offices will be planning to reach the other neighboring islands to conduct the similar activities. (Jidday Lucman/MSSD BARMM)