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IP school planned in isolated sub-village in Davao Occidental

A LUMAD school will soon rise on a one-hectare property donated by a private individual in Barangay Datu Danwata in Malita, Davao Occidental.

The Davao Occidental revitalize- Pulis sa Barangay of Police Regional Office 11 facilitated the donation of one hectare of land for the building of IP school at Barangay Datu Danwata in Malita on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Col. Narciso Bayugo, the provincial director of Davao Occidental Police Office, attended the signing of the usufruct agreement to hand over the rights of the land to the Department of Education.

Regional police direct, Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, said the donation was facilitated by the Revitalized- Pulis sa Barangay (R-PSB) and Metrobank PROTECT (Police Officers Responsible for Organizing, Transforming, Empowering Communities).

The R-PSB team was deployed to Datu Danwata in July 2020 to conduct an assessment and survey. About 98% of the residents in the village belongs to the Tagakaulo IP tribe. Col. Edgar Alan Okubo, the deputy regional director for operations of the PRO XI, supervised the team.

The team noticed the isolation of Sitio Kagugma, which is situated at the western side of Datu Danwata. The sub-village was already near the boundary of Saranggani Province and government services cannot reach the area as it has no access road. The children’s education is compromised due to the distance of the nearest school.

The team, with the help of barangay officials, successfully negotiated with Sumagayan M. Maranga, the owner of the land, to donate a portion of his property to build an elementary school in the area. The funding of the school, amount to P150,000, was also released by Congresswoman Lorna Bautista Bandigan.

Okubo explained that the R-PSB program was created in support of the President’s EO 70, which seeks to end insurgency in the country. He said the land is part of an ancestral domain so it could not be donated to the DepEd.

Police officers also commit to helping build the school to cut down the labor cost. The school is targeted to be operational by next year.

Datu Julio S. Bagi, the consultative and advisory body chairperson of the Tagakaulo tribe, shared that about 70% of the IPs are recruited into the New People’s Army due to lack of proper education. He encouraged all the residents to support the program of the government to introduce progress into the community.

He also wished that more schools will be built in isolated hamlets to give poor kids access to education.

Nilo L. Octura, chief education supervisor, School Governance and Operation Division, DepEd, thanked the R-PSB program for helping the agency reach out to as many IP kids as possible, as he said, “It takes a village to educate a child.”

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