SUPPORT TO IP COMMUNITY.  Troops of the Army’s 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion plant some 100 coconut saplings for the IP community of Barangay Bayanihan in Maria Aurora town, Aurora Province on Wednesday (March 9, 2022). In partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the activity aims to provide sustainable livelihood to the Bugkalot tribe and at the same time increase the province’s coconut production. (Photo courtesy of the Army's 91ist IB) 

BALER, Aurora – Government troops have extended support to the indigenous people (IP) community in Barangay Bayanihan, Maria Aurora town in Aurora Province as part of the programs of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC).

In partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Aurora, the troops of the Army’s 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion planted some 100 coconut saplings in the IP community on Wednesday to provide sustainable livelihood to the Bugkalot tribe and at the same time increase the province’s coconut production.

Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, commander of the 91IB, said on Thursday the activity was in line with the unit’s sustainment efforts in areas cleared from the communist terrorist group.

“This activity is part of the whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict wherein the PCA gives incentives under the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster (PRLEC). Rest assured that the 91IB is doing its best effort to help our tribal groups in the province of Aurora which aims to prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages of the government. We are partners for peace and development,” Rubio said.

NCIP Aurora Representative Dhelsie Joy Pineda thanked the 91IB for supporting the Bugkalot tribe.

“We appreciate the efforts of the 91IB in the peace and developments. This is one way of bringing the message of peace. Let us support our government,” Pineda said.

Acting Barangay Bayanihan chairman Isaias E. Caanawan likewise thanked the government for the continuous efforts to help the IP community.

Malaking tulong po ito sa aming mga katutubo at nawa ay magpatuloy pa yung ganitong gawain para sa aming mga kababayan dito sa Bayanihan (This is a big help to us and may this kind of activity continue for our townmates here in Bayanihan)” Caanawan said.

Meanwhile, Major General Andrew D. Costelo, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, lauded the efforts of 91IB troops as he thanked their partner stakeholders for the support to activities that benefit the IP community. (PNA)