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NCIP donates four abaca stripping  machines to Marilog IP community

by Rojean Grace Patumbon and Joana Mae Villanueva/UM Interns

THE NATIONAL Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), in coordination with Bounty Fresh Group of Companies (BFGC) and Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. (BAVI), donated four abaca stripping machines to the indigenous people’s community in Sitio Ladian, Marilog District last June 15, 2023.

The project beneficiaries were the Obu-Manuvu of Marilog and Baguio districts; Ata-Manobo tribe of Talaingod, Davao Del Norte; and the B’laan of Kiblawan municipality, and the Ata tribe of Paquibato District. 

The laborious process of abaca cultivation is one of the main livelihoods of the IPs in the region. It usually takes them about a week to process the abaca, and this includes manually stripping the fiber with a stripper. But the machines will held reduce the time to one day. 

According to Tumanuron Boyson Anib, ADMU director of the Ata Tribe, said Paquibato District has about 2,000 planters. Five to seven tons of abaca are produced in Mapula alone, and delivered to Chingbi, Panacan.

However, with the donated machines, Anib said they can double their production output, meaning the IP communities would have to plant more.

The initiative was a result of the request by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to ease labor costs and increase abaca production. 

Before the turnover ceremony, Ronald Mascariñas, BAVI president and general manager, said he knows the struggles of the IP community, particularly the Obu-Manuvu, which adopted him. 

Sa kapatid naming mga katutubo alam ko at alamin gaano kahirap ang sitwasyon wag kayong mawalan ng pag-asa hindi lang naman kami marami kaming kahit papano nakakangat na sa buhay na handang tumulong kung ano man ang makakayanan nito. Ang importante lang sa amin ay wag mawalan ng pag-asa (To our brothers and sisters of the indigenous community, I know how difficult your situation is. Please do not lose hope because we are ready to help you however we can. The most important thing is that you must not lose hope),” said Mascariñas.

BFGC and BAVI are planning to donate 25 machines to Region XI.


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