IP residents in Sarangani to get skills training

By Richelyn Gubalani / Philippine News Agency

OUTREACH. Indigenous people or tribal residents of Sitio Sulop, Barangay San Juan in Malungon town, Sarangani province line up for various assistance in an outreach/community pantry activity on August 19, spearheaded by the Army’s 1002nd Brigade. Some 59 Blaan households benefited from the program, receiving food packs, PHP3,000 cash assistance each, five solar panels, 200 pairs of slippers, basketballs, assorted candies, chocolates, and biscuits. (Photo courtesy of the 1002nd Brigade)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – More indigenous people (IP) or tribal residents in Sarangani province are set to receive skills training and other related interventions through the national government’s convergence programs.


Rafael Abrogar II, director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Region 12, said on Friday they are currently working with various stakeholders to expand the rollout of their training programs in poor IP communities in the area.


Among the target recipients are residents of Sitio Sulop, Barangay San Juan in Malungon town, which is considered as among the poorest IP communities in the province.


The village was visited by various government and private agencies last week for an outreach and community pantry activity.


Some 59 Blaan households benefited from the program, receiving food packs, PHP3,000 cash assistance each, five solar panels, 200 pairs of slippers, basketballs, assorted candies, chocolates, and biscuits.


During the activity, personnel from TESDA-12 assessed the situation and the needs of the residents.


“We, in TESDA, are always willing to extend our help (by) providing skills and agricultural training,” Abrogar said in a statement.


He said these interventions are intended to make IP residents of the village become more productive.


The outreach/community pantry activity was joined by troops from the Army’s 1002nd Infantry (Bagwis) Brigade, the 73rd Infantry (Neutralizer) Battalion, municipal government of Malungon, office of Sarangani Rep. Rogelio Pacquiao, Department of Social Welfare and Development-12, TESDA-12, Marchael Sea Ventures Corporation, Junior Chambers International Philippines, DOLE Philippines, and Plus Construction Industries Corporation.


It was launched in line with the 15th anniversary celebration on Aug. 19 of the 1002nd Brigade, which covers parts of Regions 11 (Davao) and 12 (Soccsksargen).


Terso Moda, San Juan barangay chairman, expressed gratefulness to the Army Brigade for choosing their village as a beneficiary of the initiative.


“We did not expect that this kind of opportunity will come into our barangay. It's the very first time that these blessings came to us. We truly felt the support of the government,” he said.


Malungon Mayor Maria Theresa Constantino said they are looking forward to more collaborations with the 1002nd Brigade as well as other entities.


She vowed to bring more services and projects to the community, which is one of the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in Malungon.


A number of IP barangays in Sarangani already received various assistance in the past several years from TESDA-12 and other government agencies.


These were in line with the government’s “whole-of-nation” approach in addressing local communist armed conflict pursuant to Executive Order No. 70 signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in 2018.


They include communities previously influenced by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in the municipalities of Malungon, Alabel, Malapatan, and Maasim.


The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

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