DAVAO CITY – Cases of suicide here doubled from what was recorded before the pandemic, with the youth accounting for many of the suicides, the Philippine Information Agency has reported.
Citing data from the Davao chapter of the Philippine Mental Health Association Inc., the PIA said there were 53 cases of suicide last year, which the PMHA said was double the number recorded since 2016.
Eighty percent of the victims were young people, the PMHA said.
The PMHA has since conducted a series of seminars in a bid to stem the tide. . Last month, some 80 persons attended a two-day seminar on awareness and prevention of suicide.
Meanwhile, 110 B’laan children and adults attended the Peace and Development Alternative Literacy System (Pedals) last month at Sitio Sultana, Barangay Donganpekong, Matanao.
Second Lt. Sharmaine de la Rosa, civil-military operations officer of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said the Pedals was an interagency program “to provide basic literacy education to communities in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas that have no or limited access to formal education”.
She said, “This would protect these vulnerable areas from being deceived and exploited by the communist terrorist group.”
Aside from the Army battalion, other agencies include the Department of Education, Davao del Sur provincial government, Matanao municipal government, National Commission on the Indigenous People, Department of Science and Technology, Provincial Social Welfare and Development, Provincial Youth Development Center, Junior Chamber Incorporated (JCI) Duwaling, Good Life Foundation and Davao del Sur Police Provincial Office.
“Sitio Sultana is located in the boundary between Abnate in Kiblawan, and Donganpekong, Matanao, a former base of the communist rebels with its location close to a lumad school that became a recruitment haven to lure the IP youth as well as the whole IP community in their war against the government,” Dela Rosa said.
Brigadier General Patricio Ruben Amata, commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade of the 10th Infantry Division witnessed the culmination of the Pedals last month with Matanao Mayor Vince Fernandez and Vice Mayor Irick Agbon..
De la Rosa said the Pedals culminating activity started with a fun run for peace showcasing a peaceful and insurgency-free Matanao; and a Motorcycle Trail Ride carrying the school supplies and food packs to be distributed to the community and a trek towards the venue proper.
“A vaccination to livestock, turnover of a water tub to a community sitio leader and a site visitation of an LGU procured land where a DepED school will be established were also conducted,” she said.