Close to 30,000 lumad families will receive Pahalipay sa Pasko gift packs from the city government of Davao, City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) head Atty. Marlisa Gallo said.

“…30,000 ka pamilya…ingon ana ka daghan among giandam para sa mga lumad (We have prepared 30,000 gift packs),” she said.

The distribution started on Thursday, December 3, in two sitios in Barangay Malabog and some beneficiaries in Barangay Paquibato Proper also began receiving the annual city government Christmas packages on Friday, December 4.

The rest of the recipient families from the other barangays will also have their turn as the distribution will continue until December 16.

She said district social workers are manning the distribution and being assisted by barangay captains and soldiers.

Gallo, who also guested at the Davao City Disaster Radio recently, said, “Bisan pa sa pandemya naa gihapon tay gamay nga selebrasyon o pinaskuhan para sa atong mga kaigsoonang lumad. Dili lang nato sila ipalugson diri kay wala naman pud tay programa unya dili jud pwede mag tapok-tapok (We still have something to celebrate and we are still giving Christmas gifts to our lumad brothers and sisters amid the pandemic. But we won’t allow them to come to us since we won’t have any program as mass gathering is prohibited).”

She, however, assured that standard health protocols will still be observed during the distribution and that all recipients will receive the gift packs regardless of their political affiliation. 

Gallo, replying to a question on the possibility the gift-giving will be politicized, said that although they are coordinating with the barangay captains, it’s the social workers on the ground who control the master list and the distribution. All lumad families, regardless of their political leanings, will receive the “Noche Buena” gift packs from the city.

Christmas packages will also be given to indigents and other marginalized sectors in the form of grocery packs or gift certificates. 

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte earlier said that although Christmas activities are prohibited to prevent mass gathering in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the annual gift-giving to vulnerable sectors will push through as scheduled. CIO