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DSWD Sec. Taguiwalo bares programs, services lined up for Lumads in Mindanao

Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary (DSWD) Judy M. Taguiwalo yesterday announced the programs and services that the Department is planning to implement to further help the Lumads or the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao.

During our dialogues with your leaders, we were able to learn that the Department’s guidelines cannot effectively and swiftly address the situation of most national minorities, particularly of the Lumads. Mula sa pagkatuto sa masa, sinisikap naming iwasto ang mga ito (We are doing our best to correct our guidelines based on what we have learned from the masses),” Secretary Taguiwalo said in her message during the graduation and moving up rites of the Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao, Inc. (CTCSMI) in Maco, Compostela Valley. The school’s students are mostly Lumads and from poor peasant families.

“Ilan sa gagawin ng DSWD ay ang pagsiguro na makikinabang sa Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) ang inyong mga komunidad. Magkakaroon rin ng community kitchen na tutugma sa pangangailangan ng mga Lumad sa panahon ng pagpapatupad ng Cash for Work Program (The DSWD will ensure that the Lumad communities will benefit from the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program. There will also be a community kitchen that will match the needs of the Lumads during the implementation of Cash for Work Program),” she stated.

Sec. Taguiwalo said that the Department is aware that the practice, culture, and way of life of Lumads are based on their lands. As such, it will help in ensuring that the group will be able to secure and utilize their lands.

“Tutulong at gagabay kami sa inyo para maging accredited ang mga organisasyong masa ng mga Lumad gaya ng PASAKA para sa pagpapahusay ng partnership ng Lumad communities at ng DSWD sa mga programa nito (We will help Lumad organizations, such as the PASAKA, to be accredited so it can strengthen the implementation of its projects in partnership with the DSWD),” she added.

The welfare secretary also shared that the Department plans to implement projects, such as gardening, rice and corn milling, and skills training under its Sustainable Livelihood Program to educate the group on other means of income and to further help develop their communities.

“Kikilalanin din ng DSWD ang katangiang komunal ng mga Lumad sa implementasyon ng mga programa at proyekto para sa inyo. Bubuuin rin ang plano para makapaghatid ng kinakailangang serbisyo gaya ng patubig at modified shelter program hinggil sa pabahay(The DSWD will also consider the communal traits of the Lumads in the implementation of programs and services. It will also develop a plan to deliver other services, such as the provision of water in the communities and the Modified Shelter Program for housing),” she said.

To address hunger among children, Sec. Taguwalo added that the DSWD will also conduct Supplemental Feeding Program in Lumad communities.
“Ang mga planong nabanggit ay hindi lang para sa mga Lumad sa Compostela Valley kundi maging sa ibang parte ng Mindanao na napalikas bunga ng direktang epekto ng armadong tunggalian at ng mga pandarahas ng mga militar at paramilitary (These programs are not only for the Lumad in Compostella Valley, but also for those residing in different parts of Mindanao who were displaced because of armed conflict and militarization in their communities),” she cleared.

Cultural-responsive education for Lumads

In her message, Sec. Taguiwalo also congratulated the graduates of the CTCSMI and lauded their perseverance despite the difficulties that they have encountered.

The graduates include those in pre-school, elementary, and junior high school level.
“Kahanga-hanga ang inyong pagpupunyagi sa kabila ng maraming hadlang. Matayog ang inyong naabot at pilit pang inaabot sa kabila ng kawalan o katiting na tulong mula sa mga nasa kapangyarihan. Sa panahong kayo ay sinubok at dinahas, naging saksi kami sa inyong pagkakapit-bisig at pagsama-sama. Hindi nakakapagtakang ang inyong lakas ay naipamalas at ang inyong boses ay narinig sa buong Pilipinas at maging sa ibang bansa (I admire your perseverance despite the many difficulties you faced. You have reached high despite receiving little or no help from those in power. We have witnessed your solidarity when you were in a difficult situation. Because of it, you have succeeded in making your voices heard not just in the Philippines, but also in other countries),” she said.

Many members of the Lumad group in Mindanao, particularly those in Davao del Norte, Surigao, and Compostela Valley have been displaced and are forced to leave their communities due the long and continuing armed conflict in the region. Parts of the group’s vast land are also being claimed by mining and logging companies.
Sec. Taguiwalo also recognized the staff and faculty of the school, who were instrumental in providing the students with scientific and cultural-responsive education.

Established on October 24, 2013, CTCSMI is a Lumad community school that aims to provide a comprehensive grassroots-transformative teacher education for Lumad and Moro scholars, helping them contribute to the development of their communities. The institution also helps in raising agricultural production in a sustainable way and enhancing natural-based health programs.

Before the graduation ceremony, Sec. Taguiwalo marched with the students and their parents together with Maco Mayor Alvera Veronica Rimando and Office-in-Charge and School Administrator of CTCSMI, Sophia Flor Perez.

She also visited the organic farm of the school, where students learn how to produce organic fertilizer, grow vegetables, and raise organic pigs, chickens, and goats. The provincial government of Compostela Valley, the regional office of the Department of Agriculture, and MASIPAG Mindanao, a farmer-led non-stock, non-profit organization, have donated animals to the farm.

“Ang hamon sa amin sa pamahalaan ay maibigay ang nararapat at sapat na tulong para sa inyo, hindi lamang sa aspeto ng edukasyon, kundi ng pangangalaga sa kapayapaan at seguridad sa inyong yutang kabilin (The challenge for us in the government is to give the right and adequate help for you, not just in the aspect of education, but also in maintaining peace and securing your ancestral domain).”

“Sa inyong moving up ceremony, baunin ninyo lahat ng matutunan niyo sa inyong karanasan sa CTCSMI, sapagkat naghihintay ang inyong mga komunidad sa inyong pag-uwi at pagbahagi ng inyong kaalaman at kasanayan hindi lang sa pagtuturo, paggamot at pagtatanim kundi maging sa inyong maiaambag para sa pangangalaga sa inyong yutang kabilin (In your moving up ceremony, take with you all that you have learned from your experiences from CTCSMI. Your community is waiting for you to share your newly-acquired knowledge in teaching, farming, and treating common diseases, as well as in taking care of your ancestral domain),” Sec. Taguiwalo ended.###

SOURCE: DSWD Website – Secretarys’ Corner (

DISCLAIMER: The above Article does not reflects the VIEWS and OPINIONS of Partners for Change


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