Lumads to get psycho-social aid
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)