ABOUT 1,000 members of the Matigsalug indigenous people (IP) community in a far-flung area of Davao City received health and social services on Aug. 26 delivered by a combined group from the government and private sector. The activity was undertaken by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI), and the Buda Community Healthcare Center-Committee of German Doctors. “This is our way of reaching out to the IP community. We would like to make them feel they have not been forgotten and are now a priority of the government,” Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza said in a statement. Around 170 volunteers joined the medical and dental mission, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, government workers, and members of the security sector. Mr. Dureza noted that majority of the IPs in Mindanao live in remote, underdeveloped, and conflict-affected areas, which limit access to services. Mr. Dureza said uplifting the plight of IPs contributes to bringing peace and security to their communities. “Peace and development should not happen one after the other but should take place simultaneously,” he said. — Carmencita A. Carillo