23IB Joins Project Platform Launching for IPs in Agnor

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – The 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion joined the launching of a project platform dubbed as Rights-Based Development Approach through Culturally Responsive Environmentally Adaptive, and Time-Bounded Enrichment Projects (RDA-CREATE) last May 19, 2021 in Sitio Balataan, Barangay Camagong, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. This project platform will benefit the Indigenous People (IP) communities in Agusan del Norte.

The launching was spearheaded by the National Commission on Indigenous People in Agusan del Norte (NCIP-ADN), and Revise Mandahinog, the IP Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Nasipit.

Present during the activity were Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale B. Corvera, Agusan del Norte Second District Rep. Ma. Angelica Amante-Matba, Nasipit Mayor Enrico R. Corvera, Datu Eddie “Bawang” Ampiyawan, the IPMR of the province of Agusan del Norte and Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the commander of 23IB.

The launching was aimed to sustainably increase and develop different projects anchored in the four (4) bundles of rights of the IPs as stipulated in the Indigenous Peoples Right Act (IPRA) of 1997.

The launching of the RDA-CREATE also focused on the rights of the IPs on their ancestral domains in terms of protection, promotion, preservation, and recognition. The activity also strengthened the IP structures for them to exercise their rights in the development, management, and control of their ancestral domains.

The activity started with a ritual officiated by Datu Ruben Mandahinog that asked for guidance for the appropriate approaches for the effective implementation of the projects for the IP communities in the area. Ribbon-cutting and tree planting activities were also facilitated in line with the launching of the Pang Ibabasok Agro Tourism Park in the area. Among the direct beneficiaries of the project are the IP members of the association of the Higaonon Indigenous Cultural Communities.

NCIP-ADN Acting Provincial Director Engr. Cierona Cutar- Molaan discussed some salient provisions of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) during the activity, with the highlights on the IP rights on their ancestral domains, rights to self-governance and empowerment, social justice and human rights, and the rights to cultural integrity.

Datu Mandahinog welcomed all the participants and thanked them for their continued support to the Higaonon tribe in Nasipit.

“Nalipay mi nga anaa ang gobyerno nag suporta sa amo ug mihatag kanamo sa mga pinasahing prebelihiyo nga mapadayon ug mapalambo ang among mga katungod isip mga lumad. Dako among pagsalig nga ang tanang mga proyekto nga ilang ipahigayon sa among yutang kabilin dili makadaot sa among tribu, kundili maka tabang hinuon aron mahatagan ug dugang kalambuan ug mga oportunidad ang matag myembro sa sa among kumunidad. Tungod sa suporta ug proteksyon nila sa amo, mapasa ug mapabati pa namo sa mga sunod pang henerasyon ang tanang kaayuhan nga nahitabo sa among tribu. Buhaton usab namo ang tanan aron dili maguba ang kalinaw ug kalambuan sa among lugar pinaagi sa pag-abog sa mga dautang elemento nga mosuway sa pag bungkag sa panaghiusa ug pagtinabangay sa matag-usa ug aron dili mulungtad ang insurhensiya,” Datu Mandahinog said.

Rep. Amante-Matba also assured her support to the IPs in Agusan del Norte through the provision of programs and services that are needed in communities.

“We in the provincial level, in partnership with different government agencies will always support and prioritize the IPs in Agusan del Norte because they are one of the most vulnerable and affected sectors to the insurgency which hinders their progress. We will implement projects that are beneficial to them in order for them not to be left behind by the current standing of our nation,” Amante-Matba said.

Lt. Col. Paulo lauded the unified support of different agencies to the IP communities in Nasipit and the rest of the province of Agusan del Norte.

He also assured the IP leaders and members in the area of the continued support of the 23IB in all development initiatives for the IP communities in the province.

“Beyond recognizing and protecting the rights of the IPs, the 23IB is committed to support all the initiatives to develop their communities. We are also committed to help empower them to be able to participate in decision-making in different levels, whether in the national or international fora to raise the primary issues that are affecting their people and communities,” Paulo said.

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