DSWD staff cautioned vs bandits-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Saturday, July 26, 2014
A TOP official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has told its personnel to take precautionary measures while doing field works in Zamboanga Peninsula.
DSWD Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo issued the advice following the abduction of four DSWD staff by suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits last week in the province of Sulu. Read the related story here.
The Abu Sayyaf bandits released them in separate occasions.
Arevalo issued the advice citing there are times it is inevitable for DSWD field workers to go on critical areas, especially while conducting validation of poor households to be enrolled in the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Arevalo said the four workers of the DSWD-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-Armm) were conducting survey for the 4Ps when the bandits abducted them.
Arevalo said she advised her field workers to coordinate with the village officials every time they will go to a particular place.
“They should be accompanied by a barangay official or someone who knows the place,” Arevalo added.
She said there are at least 800 field workers under her office in the region.
Arevalo’s office covers the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay and the cities of Dapitan, Dipolog, Isabela, Pagadian, and Zamboanga.
She added they should also work in groups or “buddy-buddy” system and “should be briefed on what to do” while on field work.