At least 100 homes worth P65 million will soon rise for the IP members in Sitio Nasilaban, a remote area of Talaingod town that is home to an Ata-Manobo population, which used to fiercely support the New People’s Army.
A groundbreaking ceremony of the National Housing Authority’s program dubbed ‘’ Pabahay sa Tribong Ata-Manobo’’ was conducted on Monday in Talaingod Municipality, Davao del Norte.
The highlight of the activity was the symbolical turnover of checks worth P65million and a memorandum of agreement signing among representatives of the provincial government of Davao del Norte, NHA, local government of Talaingod, Eastern Mindanao Command, the 10th Infantry Division, and tribal leaders.
The 100 houses will be constructed within the 208.85 square meters of a land parcel in Sitio Nasilaban.
In his message, Reynaldo B. Mapagu, undersecretary for civil, veterans and retiree affairs of the Department of National Defense, said the activity is a symbolic to give new lease on life to the Ata-Manobos in the area.
As an IP member of Ibanag in Ilocos Norte, Mapagu said “I understand the feelings of the IP brothers living in remote areas, and these areas are not usually reach by the government services. But with the new administration, all services that available can be provided to those living in remote areas.”
NHA General Manager Marcelino P. Escalada Jr. said, said they funded P20 million per project. Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib will implement two projects, while Mayor Jonie Libayao is tasked to implement one project in his hometown in Talaingod.
Escalada said they received a request from local officials to build an IP dormitory for students studying in the town center. “So, I will allocate P20 million for the IP dormitory, ” he said. “This is already the second IP dormitory. First in Makilala, and second here in Talaingod.”
Meanwhile, five more housing projects are in the pipeline for Talingod this year, for a total worth of P100 million.
Mayor Libayao expressed his gratitude to the NHA and other stakeholders to realize the project.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., the commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, said they will continue their task of protecting the IP villages from the NPA.
“This (referring to Sitio Nasilaban) area was long controlled by the NPA but it started to be cleared when the Community Support Program entered the area,”Faustino said.