Badjaos avail of community outreach program in Zamboanga

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ZAMBOANGA CITY — Some 700 residents here, mostly marginalized Badjao indigenous people (IP), benefited from the one-day Medical-Dental and Community Assistance Package (MEDCAP) caravan initiated by the Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) over the weekend.

The MEDCAP, held in partnership with the PRO-9 Officer’ Ladies Club, was conducted in Barangay Mariki, one of the greatly-affected areas during the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

Chief Supt. Emmanuel Luis Licup, PRO-9 director, on Monday said the activity was aimed at bringing the police closer to the marginalized sector, such as those in the said village.

He said the IP beneficiaries, including children one to 12 years old, availed of basic services such as medical and dental consultations, tooth extraction, and literacy program. They also received free haircut, medicines, school supplies, gifts, and slippers.

Licup said they chose Mariki as mission site as it is considered a remote village and populated mostly by IPs.

He noted that all the houses in the area, mostly on stilts, were razed to the ground during the siege five years ago.

Meanwhile, Licup’s wife, Marjorie, who heads the PRO-9 Officer’s Ladies Club, announced that the series of MEDCAP activities will continue Nov. 17 and 24 and Dec. 1 in the provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Del Sur and Zamboanga Del Norte, respectively.

The three provinces, including this city and Isabela City in Basilan, are under the area of responsibility of PRO-9. -Bong Garcia/PNA

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