San Mariano, Isabela – A total of twenty-five (25) Agta households in the Dicamay Community of San Mariano, Isabela received aid from the Municipal Action Team of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 2 (DSWD-FO2) in collaboration with private individuals on February 7, 2017.

MAT members with the Agta community of Dicamay, San Mariano Isabela.

The aid provided was in the form of food packs, clothing and hygiene kits. The food packs contained groceries such as noodles, canned goods, biscuits, coffee and rice while the hygiene kits contained laundry and bath soaps, oil, tooth brushes and tooth paste. Agta children were given wafer bars, chocolates and juice drink.

Private individuals from Isabela Dynamic Feed Distributor Corporation and the Foundation of Margarette Verone Mangupag provided the goods that were distributed by eight (8) MAT Team members in one of the houses of the beneficiaries.

Getting to the Community

The Dicamay community in San Mariano is located at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range and accessible only through the unpaved service road that connects it to the poblacion.

It takes approximately three hours in a private vehicle or longer in a public transport such as jeepney, bus or tricycle to get to the community. The MAT team used a makeshift private mobile car in order to accommodate the quantity of goods they transported.

Upon arrival, the team was met by the expectant faces of the village children, who came to the gathering with nothing more but the clothes on their backs. Their houses and majority of belongings were destroyed and rendered useless in the wake of typhoon Lawin.

With the clothes distributed, some children immediately changed into them, to show appreciation for the efforts of the team as well as for added warmth from the cold breeze coming from the mountain.

Agta children practice proper brushing using the hygiene kits that were given to them.

Aside from the distribution of goods, the MAT team proceeded in instructing the group on proper handwashing, brushing and maintaining proper hygiene.

By the end of the day, the team prepared for the trip back to their headquarters satisfied with the events. As one of the squad members quipped: “We are very pleased and feel fulfilled at the events of the day. This was not just an ordinary relief operation. We wanted to give the Agtas an impression that they are part of the global community that needs to be taken cared of, and I’m sure they have taken the message well. ### By: Jeanet Antolin-Lozano, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer II