Manila Bulletin

Lumads to get psy­cho-so­cial aid

- By CHRISTINA I. HERMOSO Society · Health Care · Philippines · Surigao City · Philippines Department of Justice · Leila de Lima · Tandag · Radio Veritas

The Catholic Bish­ops’ Con­fer­ence of the Philip­pines-Epis­co­pal Com­mis­sion on Health Care (CBCP - ECHC) will pro­vide psy­cho-so­cial as­sis­tance to the Lumads or in­dige­nous peo­ples (IPs) par­tic­u­larly in Suri­gao del Sur.

“Aside from ba­sic needs such as food, medicine, and wa­ter, it is also im­por­tant to fo­cus on the men­tal health of the dis­placed IPs, es­pe­cially the vic­tims of vi­o­lence,” said Fr. Dan Can­cino, ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the CBCP-ECHC.

Mem­bers of the com­mis­sion are sched­uled to pro­ceed to Tandag in Suri­gao del Sur this week to pro­vide the nec­es­sary as­sis­tance.

“We have been in close co­or­di­na­tion with the Dio­cese of Tandag and the Na­tional Com­mis­sion on In­dige­nous Peo­ple to help pro­vide for the needs of the Lumads in evac­u­a­tion cen­ters. Aside from food and med­i­cal needs, we also need to fo­cus on psy­cho-so­cial in­ter­ven­tion. We need to ad­dress the trauma ex­pe­ri­enced by the chil­dren who had been dis­placed. There will also be ex­perts who will pro­vide psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sis­tance to adults,” Can­cino said over Church-run Ra­dio Ver­i­tas.

Can­cino called on the faith­ful to con­tinue to help the dis­placed IPs by help­ing pro­vide for their needs.

“Please vol­un­teer and pro­vide as­sis­tance by join­ing or­ga­nized groups. We also must con­tinue to pray for their wel­fare and for peace to reign in their lo­cal­i­ties,” he said.

Mean­while, sev­eral Lumad tribe mem­bers trooped yesterday to the Depart­ment of Jus­tice (DOJ) to seek help in con­nec­tion with the in­dis­crim­i­nate ha­rass­ment and killings of in­dige­nous peo­ples (IP), but left the agency dis­mayed af­ter Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Leila de Lima failed to meet with them. (With re­port from Leonard D. Postrado)

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