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Army and Government Agencies unite efforts to enhance Indigenous Peoples’ welfare in Surigao del Norte

PLACER, Surigao de Norte – In a bid to empower Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities and promote their welfare, Government Agencies joined forces with the Army in an Indigenous Peoples Consultative Dialogue. The event, themed as “Gahum sa Katribu,” was attended by 50 IP leaders and participants from the different tribal communities under CADT 048 and CADT 254 all of Surigao del Norte in a 2-day activity held at Headquarters, 901st Brigade, Brgy Sta. Cruz, Placer, Surigao del Norte on January 30-31, 2024.

The dialogue was well-attended, with representatives from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Local Government Units of Surigao del Norte and the Army’s 901st Brigade and the 30th Infantry Battalion sharing information about their respective programs and services. The event also provided a platform for IP leaders to share their main concerns for improving their communities’ welfare.

“Mapasalamaton gayud ako sa atong gobyerno nga adunay ingon niini nga mga panghitabo. Hinaot nga magpadayon kini, ikaw ug akong mga kaubang IP sa atong CADT makalaom nga dili na mobalik ang mga NPA sa atong lugar ug kami na mismo ang magbantay sa atong ancestral domain. Daghang salamat sa tabang sa atong gobyerno kay wala ta nila gipasagdan” Bae Leonedes Laid, Tribal Leader of Brgy Magtangale, San Francisco, Surigao del Norte.

Brigadier General Arsenio Sadural, Commander of the 901st Brigade, stated that empowering Indigenous Peoples communities and promoting their welfare is important, and by working together with other government agencies, they can make a significant impact on their lives. He recognized that Indigenous Peoples communities are vulnerable to NPA recruitment and is committed to collaborating with government agencies to address this issue. Through the dialogue, they aim to empower IP communities and provide them with alternative livelihood opportunities to prevent them from falling prey to NPA recruitment. 

The “Gahum Sa Katribu” Indigenous Peoples Consultative Dialogue is part of a broader effort by the government to promote peace, development, and social justice in Indigenous Peoples communities. By working together with other government agencies and the Army will make a significant impact on the lives of Indigenous Peoples and promote their welfare.

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