Recognizing the other needs of our indigenous people in the provinces, the 48th Infantry Battalion in collaboration with the other National Government Agencies (NGAs) facilitated a Needs Analysis at Assessment Forum to the farmers who belong to the Indigenous People’s community in Brgy. Nabuklod, Floridablanca on 26 August 2020.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Felix Emeterio M. Valdez, Commanding Officer, 48IB, the program aims to uncover the basic social issues and needs of the farmers and address it by channeling them to the proper NGAs under the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC). Some of the issues raised during the forum were the absence of farm-to-market roads, rights over their ancestral domain, the creation of a farmer’s cooperative, market for their farm products, and the lack of support of the government for the Indigenous People’s community.
The activity was attended by TESDA-Pampanga Project Supervisor Ms. Jenica Dunglao, 48IB Charlie Company Commander 1LT Oscarito Tobias, Infrastructure and Resource Management Officer of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Dra. Roselen Tan, members of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Office of the Provincial Administrator (OPA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine National Police (PNP), Nabuklod Brgy. Officials and CMO Officer from the 5th Fighter Wing at 355th Air Engineering Wing Philippine Air Force headed by Colonel Gerardo Zamudio. All NGA representatives present during the forum have expressed their support for the future programs and projects for the IP community.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Andrew D. Costelo, 703rd Infantry Brigade Commander supports the activity saying that it was conducted in order for the NGAs to have an idea what government projects and programs are needed to address the social issues of our Indigenous People’s community in Pampanga. “Your Army supports this kind of initiative as this will determine the real issues in the grassroots and that will be addressed directly by the NGAs present during the forum,” said Brig. Gen. Costelo. (CRIS PALARCA)