The spirit of giving continues in Davao Occidental after soldiers bought almost the entire produce in a local market, repacked the goods, and distributed them as a Christmas and New Year’s gift to thousands of families.
2nd Lieutenant Tiffany Joy Bago, information officer of the Philippine Army 73rd Infantry Battallion (73ID), said they decided to conduct a gift-giving activity in their community last Dec. 30 by helping the stall owners in a local market in Malita.
Bago said the soldiers bought the sellers’ produce which mainly were locally-harvested fruits.
The soldiers then repacked the produce through the help of bystanders and distributed them to some 1,300 families in seven sitios in Barangay Poblacion.
The beneficiaries were from Sitio Cagampong, Lower Felis, Tambakan, Bukana, Looban, Santalika, and Purok Slaughterhouse.
The soldiers also gave money to the 20 bystanders who helped them repacked the goods.
They accompanied the bystanders to a local store where they bought new shoes, clothes, shorts, and pants. Some of the bystanders bought bicycles as a gift for their children.
Lt. Col. Ronaldo Valdez, commanding officer of 73IB, was elated with the soldiers’ initiative which, he said, not only brought joy to the families but also improved the harmonious relationship between the locals and the military.
“Sa pagpapatuloy na pagtutulungan ng iba’t-ibang sektor ng lipunan, ahensya ng gobyerno, at mga pribadong indibidwal, naipamahagi hindi lamang ang kapayapaan kundi pati na rin ang kasiyahan sa mga mamamayan ng aming nasasakupan (Through the continuous cooperation among various sectors in the society, government agencies, and private individuals, we were able to spread not only peace but also joy to the residents in the community),” he said.