BUTUAN CITY – The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has reached out to around 3,000 indigenous people (IP) households in Mindanao directly affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a statement Saturday, NCIP chairperson, Secretary Allen A. Capuyan, said the simultaneous provision of aid to IP communities in Mindanao was also supported by the Mindanao Council of Elders and Leaders (MIPCEL) and the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Youth Organization (MIPYO).

“The move is aimed at extending compassionate support to the government efforts in reaching out our fellow IP brothers and sisters in the midst of the continuing threat of Covid-19 pandemic,” Capuyan said.

The provision of food aid in the IP communities in Mindanao was simultaneously implemented from April 6 to 9, 2020.

Capuyan said IP households in 20 remote areas in different provinces and regions in Mindanao received the needed food support.

IP communities in Davao City receive food packs during the relief operation conducted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) with the support of other IP groups in the area. (NCIP photos)

These areas include Purok Dam, Barangay Saguing, Makilala and Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City in North Cotabato in Region 12; Sitio Kalipayan, Barangay Kisanday in Maramag town, and in Purok 2, Barangay Kalagangan and Purok 12, Kalanganan all in San Fernando town in Bukidnon province in Region 10; and in Barangays Umalag and Tina in Surigao del Sur, and Barangay Waloe, Loreto, Agusan Del Sur all in Caraga Region.

Support was also extended in far-flung IP communities in Davao Region, particularly in Sitios Nasilaban and Banowaloy in Talaingod, Davao del Norte; Purok Tanguile, Carmen, Baguio District, Sitio Patag, Marilog, Baguio District, Sitio Namnam, Marilog, Baguio District, Sitio Betan, Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District, Sitio Alon, Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District, Purok Licuyan, Barangay Tambobong Baguio District, Barangay Baganihan, Marilog District, Purok Langgunoan, and Barangay Tambobong Baguio District, all in Davao City.

IP communities in Barangay New Opon, Magsaysay and in Purok Zone 4 Sitio Budoy, in Guihing, all in Davao del Sur province were also given aid during the distribution.

Capuyan thanked the support provided by different groups for the success of the relief operation despite the limited funds available and challenges posed by the imposition of ECQs in different regions and provinces.

“Armed with determination and love for their IP brethren, the teams completed their tasks in their respective areas and received overwhelming acceptance and gratitude from the affected communities,” Capuyan said.

The relief operations, he added, also created a huge impact in the hearts and minds of both the members of quick response teams (QRTs) and the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) in Mindanao.

“Indeed, alone we can do so little but together we can do so much,” he said. (PNA)

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