The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday, July 28, clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on lumad schools sends a strong message for illegal education centers to comply with government regulation.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Jr. in a regular Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañan, said that President Duterte has no intention of wreaking havoc to lumad schools.
“It was just a matter of strongly communicating a strong position on behalf of government to warn the illegal educational centers which are not complying with government regulation,” he said.
“That is how we understood the President and that is how we see and appreciate his comments regarding this. Not intended to really destroy the community but to extend a message, a very strong message, to the people behind the organization of these illegal learning institutions to comply with government regulation,” he added.
Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag said there are three main groups of left-oriented indigenous people schools, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).
These are the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development, Inc. or the Alcadev; the Center for Lumad Advocacy and Services, Inc. or the Clans; and the Salugpungan Community Learning Center.
The Alcadev of Surigao has no permit to operate and refuses to get a permit from the Department of Education. The Clans, on the other hand, has been given 3 months to comply with DepEd requirements.
“It is clear from the President’s remarks that he is not referring to all lumad schools, but to those which don’t have permits from the Department of Education or the DepEd, and refuse to comply with DepEd requirements on curriculum,” Banaag said.
“It is likewise clear that the President does not intend to bomb lumad children. On the contrary, he said that they should get out of the schools as he was referring to structures and not to children,” she added.
In the same briefing, meanwhile, General Padilla thanked the business sector for providing P1.25 million each to the families of the fallen soldiers of the Marawi conflict.
“We’d like to pass on our sincerest appreciation to the Chief of Staff, the Secretary of National Defense, and the entire Defense establishment, along with every soldier, every sailor, every marine, every airman and every civilian employee of the Armed Forces,” Padilla said.
“We put out our hearts in thanks to all those who have extended their support and continue to extend their support up to this very moment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Deputy Administrator for Administration Kristoffer James Purisima said that Task Force Bangon Marawi has added sub-committees for the rehabilitation and recovery of the affected areas.
These include a sub-committee on finance and resource mobilization support to be co-headed by DBM and NEDA; a sub-committee on information management and strategic communication support to be headed by PCOO; and a sub-committee on legal support secretariat headed by the DND.
“We also have a secretariat which is headed by the OCD and an executive director appointed by the chairperson of Task Force Bangon Marawi in the person of Undersecretary Cesar Yano of the Department of National Defense. The Office of the Presidential Adviser on [the] Peace Process shall also be represented in all TFBM sub-committees, particularly on reconstruction,” he added.
Task Force Bangon Marawi is composed originally of five sub-committees spearheaded by an NDRRMC member-agency, namely: DPWH for reconstruction; DSWD and DOH for health and social welfare; OCS for housing; DTI for business and livelihood; and DILG for peace and order.
According to Purisima, transitional shelters are proposed to be established in an 11-hectare area in Barangay Sagonsongan near Marawi City while a 13-hectare area was identified for vegetable production and identification of farmer IDPs.
He said that the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management or the AHA Centre has given around P17 million in relief items and assistance, including 600 family tents, 600 family kits, 600 kitchen sets, 4 water filtration units, and at least 3,000 personal hygiene kits.
“By way of a whole of nation and whole of society approach in realizing the rehabilitation and recovery efforts for affected communities, we assure our people that we will build back Marawi better,” Purisima said.###PND