DAVAO CITY – An official of the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) reported that no Lumad visiting the city for the holiday was killed this year, but four of them were hit in vehicular accidents.
Liwayway Caligdong, CSSDO assistant head, however, said this is a positive development from last year’s 12 Lumads who were victims of vehicular accidents.
Caligdong said the 26,615 Lumads who came from various provinces are now “oriented” on how to keep themselves safe while in the city.
“Karon malipay ta no kay murag na-educate na man gyud ni sila kung unsaon mag-cross sa street, sa mga junctions, intersections. Pero naa tay natala nga upat lang ka mga vehicular accidents nga diin lipay ta kay walay casualties, walay namatay. Ingon ana na ka-kuwan sila, oriented sa syudad sa Davao (We are happy because it seems they are educated on how to cross the streets, junctions and intersections. But we recorded four cases of vehicular accidents. Still, we are happy because no one was killed. That is how oriented they are in Davao City),” said Caligdong.
Caligdong admitted that the city lack shelter areas for the indigenous peoples prompting several Lumads, some of whom with young children, to sleep by the roadsides, outside Barangay gymnasiums.
She said it would be better if the Lumads no longer have to leave their communities, but added that authorities cannot stop them from visiting the city.
“Kung kami unta, gwapo unta didto. Didto gyud sa area mag-schedule para at least dili pud mabiyaan ang ilahang panginabuhian dito, mabiyaan ang mga hayop ug ubang miyembro sa pamilya (If we have our way, we would like to schedule the delivery of the goods to their communities so that they will not have to leave their livelihood, their animals and other members of the families),” said Caligdong. (davaotoday.com)