MOA SIGNING. San Jose Multi-Purpose Cooperative chair Marilou Llavan (left) signs a memorandum of agreement with police chief Lt. Col. Benjo Clarite (right) for their partnership in the community outreach program in Barangay Badiang, San Jose de Buenavista on August 15, 2022. The twice-a-year feeding and gift-giving community outreach program is for the Ati families and their children. (PNA file photo Annabel Consuelo J. Petinglay)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The San Jose de Buenavista town police has partnered with the San Jose Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SJMPC) for a feeding and gift-giving program to benefit 30 families, including 50 children, of the Ati indigenous peoples (IPs) community in Barangay Badiang.

Master Sgt. Carlo Oribe, in an interview Tuesday, said a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was entered into between the local police and the SJMPC on Monday for the twice-a-year feeding and gift-giving to the target beneficiaries.

Signatories were police chief Lt. Col. Benjo Clarite, SJMPC chairperson Marilou Llavan, Badiang barangay captain Vivian Gaite, and Ati tribal leader Virgilio Ocario Sr.

The SJMP will assist in the program to develop and promote the well-being of the Ati community, particularly its children.

“Our targeted beneficiary for the feeding and gift-giving is actually the Ati children, but since their parents would also like to avail of the activity, we included them. Last Aug. 5 even prior to the MOA signing, we already conducted feeding and gift-giving activities with the SJMP,” Oribe said.

The Ati children ate arroz caldo while family food packs consisting of three kilos of rice with canned goods worth PHP300 each were given to the 30 families.

The children also received toys and reading materials.

Llavan said they would like to help in the development of IP children.

“The SJMPC is open to support the feeding and gift-giving program of the police as well as in meeting the other needs of the beneficiaries that will be approved by their board,” she said.

Ocario said they felt fortunate that their Ati community was identified as beneficiaries since most of the heads of families are construction workers.

He added that they used to reside in Barangay Tina resettlement area in Hamtic town, but transferred to Barangay Badiang so they could be nearer to their worksites.

Clarite said the outreach program is part of their mobile feeding program implemented in Muslim communities in the town with the support of the other stakeholders. (PNA)