Masandag Tribal Village gives hope to 400 IPs in Tagum

By Philippine News Agency

16-YEAR-OLD DREAM. National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr., National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chairperson Allen Capuyan, City Tribal Chieftain Bia Lilia Magkidong-Lagunsad, and Tagum City Mayor Allan L. Rellon sign a Memorandum of Agreement in Tagum City on May 21 for the construction of an PHP80-million housing project for 400 members of the Masandag tribal community. The project is a 16-year-old dream of the tribal communities that gives them hope, social justice, and a lifetime of opportunities. (CIO Tagum photo)

TAGUM CITY – Another Tagumpay project for the cultural communities of Tagum City unfolded Friday as the local government of Tagum City, in collaboration with the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), broke grounds on the 16-year-old dream of the tribal communities – the Masandag Tribal Village.


The groundbreaking ceremony marked the next phase of what will become a remarkable beginning of a PHP80-million housing project that will not just provide land and shelter to 400 IP beneficiaries, but more importantly gives them hope, social justice, and a lifetime of opportunities.


Made possible by the funds provided by the NHA through their program “Pabahay para sa Tribu” or Housing Assistance for Indigenous People (HAPIP), the partnership was officially sealed by a Memorandum of Agreement signed by NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr.; NCIP Chairperson, Secretary Allen Capuyan; City Tribal Chieftain Bia Lilia Magkidong-Lagunsad; and Tagum City Mayor Allan L. Rellon.


Under the signed agreement, the local government of Tagum City is set to provide five hectares of land for the project’s location at Brgy. Canocotan, while the NHA will allocate funds amounting to PHP80 million.


The Tagum City Federation of Barangay Tribal Council is designated for the proposal of the project and the selection of the 400 IP beneficiaries.


Four cheques amounting to PHP80 million for Phases 1 to 4 were turned over to the LGU, signifying that once the funds will be downloaded, the construction of the project will begin right away and will be completed next year.


IP beneficiaries were also awed as Escalada said NHA will provide additional grants for tribal halls, both for tribal gatherings and tribal rituals.


Present in the ceremony was Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib who also pledged to provide gravel and heavy equipment for land preparation, and the deployment of the Provincial Government Engineering Department and the Philippine National Police.


Also in attendance were Vice Mayor Eva Lorraine Estabillo, the author of City Culture Welfare Act; members of the 8th City Council; representatives from the NCIP; Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy; and Christopher Bong Go’s Representative, Atty. Ron Villacampa. (Geneva Pangandoyon/CIO Tagum)

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