DAVAO DEL NORTE, Oct. 19 (PIA) - The provincial government of Davao del Norte is giving its maximum effort in improving the lives of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) through its many intervention programs.
Davao del Norte Provincial Governor Edwin I. Jubahib revealed the province's efforts during today's Network Briefing News with Secretary Martin Andanar.
Building of Roads
Jubahib said that the first thing the provincial government did was to create roads that connected the Sitios to the market.
"Ang pinaka una po natin ay yung kalsada talaga na papunta sa mga Sitios na noon talagang mahirap sa kanila ang bumaba papunta sa palengke (The first thing is really the roads to the Sitios where, before, they [IPs] had such a difficult time going down the mountains to go to the market)," Jubahib said.
"Atsaka Ngayon, mas madali na sa kanila kase makadaan na po yung four wheels natin atsaka motor na kanilang magamit para mas madali ang kanilang pag akyat baba galling sa bundok (Now, it's easier for them because there is now a road for the four-wheels and motorcycles to run on, allowing them to go up and down the mountains)," he added.
With the roads having been made, Jubahib said that they are also teaching the IPs with livelihood and new houses were being built for them.
"Tinuturoan po natin sila paano mag tanim at paano din mag luto para sa kanilang pamilya. Kasi nalaman natin na yung mga IPs pala hindi marunong magluto ng gulay. Lagi lang sila doon sa mga delata (We are teaching them how to plant, and cook for their families because we found out that the IPs didn't know how to cook vegetables. They were always eating canned food)," he said.
"Tinutoro-an din natin sila paano mag alaga ng tanim para maganda yung harvest at tinutulongan po natin sila sa marketing kaya probinsyal government na po yung bumibili sa kanilang mga ani (We are also teaching them how to maintain the plants so that the harvest comes out well. And we are helping them in marketing that's why the provincial government buy their harvest)," Jubahib added.
In order for this to happen, the Barangay Extension Workers (BEWs) were deployed to facilitate the livelihood training.
"Meron po tayong mga barangay extension workers, na dati nasa opisina nagtrabaho, empleyado natin sa Kapitolyo, ngayon tinitraining natin sa larangan ng agrikultura, livestock, at forestry (We have the BEWs, employees of Capitol who were previously working in an office. Now, we are training them in agriculture, livestock, and forestry)," he said.
"Ngayon dinideploy natin sa barangay para sila ang mag le-lead sa ating mga IP communities paano mag alaga ng mga hayop manok paano magtanim ng gulay at paano rin pong mag luto at mag turo sa mga bata (Now we deploy them to the barangays so that they will lead the IP communities on how to raise chickens, how to plant vegetables, and how to cook. They also teach the kids)," he added.
Adopt an Indigenous Program
In addition to the creation of roads and conduct of livelihood programs, there is also the 'Adopt an Indigenous' program which allows third parties to directly support IP families.
"Eto pong Adopt an Indigenous Program, eto po ang klaseng programa na yung medyong may kaya na pamilya na tumulong sa ating mga IPs, sila po ay magbigay ng tulong diretso po sa kanila at tayo lang po yung nag mediate (The Adopt an Indigenous Program, this is one where the families able to help the IPs, they will give assistance directly to the IPs, we [the government] just mediate)," Jubahib explained.
"Sinasamahan natin kung ano po ang ma itutulong tulad ng pag-aaral ng mga bata, pwede po magbigay ng scholarship, at kung nakita kung ang bahay ay talagang kawawa, pwede po magbigay ng materials, at yung engineering po natin sa probinsya at yung AFP at ang police, tumutulong po para sa pag construct ng kanilang bagong tirahan (We accompany them to the communities so they can see what the IPs need such as the education of the kids, they can give scholarships. And if they see that what really is needed is housing, they can give materials. Our engineering in the province, the AFP, and the police, they help construct these new houses)," he added.
With this, Jubahib revealed that there have been many of these privilege families who have started 'adopting' an Indigenous.
"Ang dami na po ngayong nag umpisa na mga kapatid natin na may kaya para po maranasan ng ating mga IPs kung paano po mamumuhay ng medyo maginhawang buhay (There are many of our privileged brothers who have started so that our IPs can experience what it's like to live with a decent life)," he said.
On October 16, five national line agencies of the national government entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Adopt an Indigenous Peoples Family Program to provide a "Consolidated Package of Assistance to IPs of Davao del Norte" with the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte.
Leading the MOA signing were Sec. Emmanuel Pinol of the Mindanao Dev't Authority (MinDA), Sec. Isidro Lapena of the Technical Skills Devt Authority (TESDA), Sec. Allen Capuyan of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
Among the primary signatory of this MOA are Provincial Governor Edwin I. Jubahib, Municipal Mayor Ma. Theresa Timbol of Kapalong and Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr, commander of Easter Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Together, they are adopting more than 130 families (of about 600 individuals) of Sitio Tapayanon where the NGAs together with the Municipality of Kapalong and Davao del Norte PLGU have committed to funnel programs, projects and services. (Jan Vincent Leuterio/JMDA, PIA-XI)