/ 19 October 2020

THE TECHNICAL  Education and Skills Development Authority signed an agreement with other government agencies to provide assistance to indigenous tribes in Davao del Monte.

The agreement was signed on October 16  by officials of the Mindanao Development Authority, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the provincial government.

These agencies will implement the  ‘Adopt an Indigenous People Family Program’ in the province.

The signatories included TESDA Secretary General Isidro Lapeña, MinDA Secretary Manny Piñol, NCIP Secretary Allen Capuyan, a representative of DSWD, and Eastern Mindanao Command Chief Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr.

Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib and Kapalong Mayor Ma. Theresa Timbol hosted the event.

The ‘Adopt an Indigenous Family Program’ intends to help 140 families of disadvantaged Indigenous People (Ata Manobo) of Sitio Mondol, in Barangay Tapayanon who rely on subsistence farming by giving them alternative livelihood.

Under the agreement, TESDA will provide the IP community free skills training on construction and agri-related courses which include Agriculture Production, Masonry, Plumbing and Carpentry.

The program also aims to strengthen government and private sector partnership by optimizing the Corporate Social Responsibility Programs of big companies, transform the marginalized IP communities in Davao del Norte into self-reliant and self-sustaining agriculture development areas; and harness the IP communities’ Indigenous Knowledge, Systems and Practices with culture- sensitive/appropriate innovative approaches.

In his message, Lapeña said that TESDA has reached out to other IP communities in the past.

“TESDA has been actively reaching out to the IP communities in far-flung areas in the country, not only here in Davao del Norte. We partner with other government agencies and even with the private sector to ensure that the needed marketing support to sustain their livelihoods will also be extended to them. TESDA ensures that our kababayans will be able to find employment or start their livelihood after they complete their skills training with us,” he said.