Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi together with the local government of Sitangkai launched the all-in-one “Bayanihan” program on September 10, 2021.
School bags, relief packs, and hygiene kits were distributed to residents of Barangay Pangguan of the said municipality by Col. Romeo Racadio, Commander of JTF Tawi-Tawi, along with other officers of the said unit, barangay authorities, and local government officials of Sitangkai.
During the activity, medical and dental check-ups, feeding, deworming, an awarding ceremony for Jade School’s top pupils, data collection on malnutrition and children’s health, and concentrated discourse with the targeted residents were also carried out.
Col. Racadio noted in his message that the All-in-One Bayanihan Program was created to assist marginalized individuals in society, such as the Badjao community, who are often subjected to social discrimination, unjust treatment, and exclusion due to differences in race, education, and culture. All of the involved agencies’ continued engagement and commitment to supplying the Badjao Sinama tribe with basic services will eventually uplift and ease their way of existence.
“Ma banan kaanakan bi paiskulin bi toongan ilu kunsi’ imbo imbal kam ni udju,” he stated to the residents (which means motivate your children to go to school, it is the key towards success, so that they will not be criticized by others).
Following the deployment of marines to secure Pangguan Island in 2017, the Jade Bajau Learning School Inc. was established on the island to meet the literacy needs and reach the potentials of the marginalized Badjaos who have been vulnerable to the exploitation of lawless elements in such a geographically isolated and deprived environment. It should be remembered that the island used to be a traditional planning and execution center for the ASG’s kidnapping actions due to its strategic position.
“We always want to ensure that the vulnerable group of the society is protected from the infiltration of the enemies of the state,” said Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Acting Commander of Western Mindanao Command.