IP SHELTER. Houses inside the tribal village of the Higaonon indigenous community in Sitio Eva, Barangay Samay in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental. The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Region 10 and the Army's 4th Infantry Division have started discussions on building more houses for indigenous people. (PNA photo by Nef Luczon)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development in Region 10 (DHSUD-10) has begun preparations for expanding a housing community of Indigenous Peoples (IP) in Northern Mindanao in partnership with the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID).

DHSUD-10 Director Ariel Abragan has met with Maj. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag, 4ID commander, on how building more IP villages in the region will become one of the key projects under peace building in the hinterlands.

“This project fills the gap in our long-standing fight against insurgency. By providing basic shelter to our indigenous communities, the government is a step closer to ending the protracted problem," Abragan said in a statement on Saturday.

As part of its community service programs, the 4ID has also engaged in non-combat outreach at the grassroots in partnership with other government agencies, part of the whole-of-government approach as mandated by Executive Order 70 and the creation of the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

In 2019, the National Housing Authority started the construction of an IP village in Sitio Eva, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental for Higaonon residents.

One-hundred houses worth PHP20 million were completed in 2021.

In March 2022, DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario approved the construction of five more IP villages with 250 houses each as a continuation of the NHA project. (PNA)