TAGUM CITY – Another Tagumpay project for the cultural communities of Tagum City unfolded today as the LGU Tagum in collaboration with the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) broke grounds on the 16-year-old dream of the tribal communities – the Masandag Tribal Village.
The groundbreaking ceremony marked the next phase of what will become a remarkable beginning of an 80-million-peso house-assistance project which will not just provide land and shelter to 400 IP beneficiaries, but more importantly grant them hope, social justice, and a lifetime of opportunities.
Made possible by the funds provided by the NHA through their program Pabahay para sa Tribu or Housing Assistance for Indigenous People (HAPIP), the partnership was officially sealed by a Memorandum of Agreement signed by NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr.; Retired Colonel Alan Capuyan of the NCIP; City Tribal Chieftain Bia Lilia Magkidong-Lagunsad; and Tagum City Mayor Allan L. Rellon.
Under the signed agreement, the LGU of Tagum is set to provide five hectares of land for the project’s location at Brgy. Canocotan, while the NHA will allocate funds amounting to 80 million pesos. Furthermore, the Tagum City Federation of Barangay Tribal Council is designated for the proposal of the project and the selection of the 400 IP beneficiaries.
Four cheques amounting to 80 million pesos for Phases 1 to 4 were turned over to the LGU, signifying that once the funds will be downloaded, the construction of the project will begin right away and will be completed next year.
IP beneficiaries were also in awe as Escalada declared that NHA will provide additional grants for Tribal Halls, both for tribal gatherings and tribal rituals.
Present in the ceremony was Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib who also pledged to provide gravel and heavy equipment for land preparation, as well as the deployment of the Provincial Government Engineering Department and the Philippine National Police.
Also in attendance were Vice Mayor Eva Lorraine Estabillo, the author of City Culture Welfare Act; members of the 8th City Council; representatives from the NCIP; Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy; and Christopher Bong Go’s Representative, Atty. Ron Villacampa. Geneva Pangandoyon/CIO Tagum
Tribal Chieftain Bia Lilia Magkidong – Lagunzad performs Sisid sang Pagpangampa sang Inidang as part of the main Ritual called Pagpanguyab-kuyab sang Masandag Village aw Pagpanabi sabi sang mga kal’luwa nang yantaliwang da aw sang mag uya disini. The ritual means asking permission from Magbabaya and the spirits of the land. Geneva Pangandoyon/CIO Tagum
The signing of Memorandum of Agreement, the Turnover of Cheques, and the Groundbreaking Ceremony signify another Tagumpay to the IP communities as these events mark the beginning of their dream to have their own homes. Geneva Pangandoyon/CIO Tagum