OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, May 31, 2021 – Iraya-Mangyan beneficiaries received food packs through the Handog-Tulong Pasasalamat para sa mga Magsasakang Katutubo community pantry of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) and the local government unit (LGU).
The community pantry distributed 125 food packs to members of three SAAD farmers’ associations namely: Sitio Hinugasan Cassava Planters Association (SHCPA), Katutubong Kambingan sa Hinugasan Farmers Association (KatuKamHiFA), and Veggie Harrison Farmers Association (VHFA) in Sitio Hinugasan, Brgy. Harrison, Paluan.
Aside from the food packs, the DA-SAAD pantry also fed around 100 children belonging to the Iraya-Mangyan community.
To maintain safety protocols, the donated funds aside from the food donations were converted to goods and were packed equally to accommodate 125 beneficiaries.
The recipients were then provided stubs to avoid close contact and double allocation. Meanwhile, the feeding program’s donated food (bread and soup) was also distributed to secure safety and sanitation.
OIC Paluan Municipal Agriculturist James Patrick Pedraza, Iraya-Mangyan IP community Mayor Piling Villanueva, and SAAD staff assisted during the activity.
According to SAAD Project Evaluation Officer IV Josephine de Sales, the said activity is part of the Farmers and Fisherfolks Month celebration in May to show gratitude to the contribution of the farmers from the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICC/IPs) to food security especially during the pandemic.
In his message, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer (APCO) Gerardo L. Laredo encouraged the beneficiaries to continue nourishing the livelihood awarded to them.
“Sa paglawak ng SAAD sa ating probinsiya, patuloy po kaming humihingi ng inyong suporta sa mga susunod pang programa na darating,” Mr. Laredo shared.
The leaders of the three associations, namely: Jabin Sambutan Villanueva (KatuKamHiFA), Alex Reyes (SHCPA), and Apple Gatmaitan (VHFA) expressed their gratitude on behalf of their group, for the recognition and assistance dedicated to their community.
“Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa pagpunta ng SAAD dito sa aming lugar upang magbigay ng handog-tulong sa amin. Malaking tulong po ito. Patuloy po naming pauunlarin ang mga ibinigay sa amin ng SAAD,” they shared.
While the indigenous people remain to be among the most marginalized sectors in the country, SAAD recognizes their ability to enrich potential had they been provided with sufficient and proper assistance.
The SHCPA focused on cassava farming while the VHFA produced pinakbet vegetables. Meanwhile, KatuKamHiFa engaged in goat production. ###
Writer: Dianne Francis A. Sy, SAAD Information Officer I
Source: Jhonzell Panganiban, SAAD Area Coordinator – Paluan