Gov’t builds 400 houses for Lumad in DavNor

Talaingod Municipal Hall in Davao Del Norte. MindaNews photo taken on 30 November 2018 by MANMAN DEJETO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 August) – Four hundred housing units worth P73 million are being constructed for the indigenous peoples in three insurgency-affected Lumad barangays of Talaingod, Davao del Norte, a leader of the Ata-Manobo tribe said on Wednesday.

Datu Alan Causing told the AFP-PNP press conference on Wednesday that of the budget, at least P53 million came from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 300 housing units, and P20 million from the National Housing Authority for 100 other units.

The DSWD is building 60 units in Barangay Sto. Niño and 120 units each in Barangay Palma Gil and Barangay Dagohoy while the housing units of the NHA are all situated in Barangay Palma Gil, according to Causing.

He said the housing project would benefit around 400 Lumad families in Talaingod. Lumad population in Talaingod stands at 2,482 individuals.

He said the beneficiaries thanked the government for the housing project that would give them better shelter, allowing them to concentrate on the education of their children and livelihood.

“The Ata-Manobo in Davao del Norte are thankful that they were able to avail of the housing project of the government,” he said.

Aside from the housing project, Causing said the government is also building schools in their communities for Lumad children.

Meanwhile, a five-member panel of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Davao Region is looking into the allegations of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. that schools operated by the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc. were teaching their students to rebel against the government.

The allegations led to the suspension of 55 schools operated by Salugpongan last July 10.

The panel will look into the issues hurled at the school “from all angles,” taking into account the side of the military and the response of the school officials to the complaints, DepEd-Davao spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said in an interview.

“This five-man team is tasked to look at all angles, gather everything that we will be able to gather, which will serve as a basis for our decision later. We would like to stress that we are giving everybody here, the opportunity to ventilate their views and opinions and their sides,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)