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PIA Press Release

Lumads focus of DA's rural program

Davao City (21 August) -- The Indigenous Peoples (IPs) are among the primary concerns of the Department of Agriculture's (DA) rural program here in Mindanao.

DA's Mindanao Rural Development Program (DA-MRDP) will focus on the poverty alleviation of the IPs or the "lumads" by providing livelihood and infrastructures as they are among the country's most vulnerable communities.

In Region 11, the Mandaya tribe in Callawan, New Bataan will be among the beneficiaries of P2.5 million project of the town.

The Byukadan Tribal Organization, a Mandaya women organization, identified as their project the construction of spring development for source of potable water supply.

The Madaya tribe are among the many lumads in Region XI who settled in Davao Oriental and in the towns Compostela and New Bataan in the Province of Compostela Valley.

Further, the tribal leader said that once the potable water supply is in place, they will evolve into agri-tourism activities.

Potable water supply is among the DAs priority project as it is helps people become productive.

Also, providing rural folks access to improved water source is part of our government's commitment to meet the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (UNMDG).

In various areas in Mindanao, it is the experience of rural folk to walk at least four kilometers to fetch water yet uncertain of its potability.

Program Director Roger C. Chio said that establishment of safe drinking water will not only eliminate water-borne diseases but also provide community folk more productive time wasted in fetching water from far flung areas.

"If we aim to alleviate the poor we have to provide them the infrastructures they need to be productive and safe water facility is one of them," Chio said.

MRDP is a poverty alleviation project of the DA covering all of Mindanao's 26 provinces and 225 municipalities to be implemented in five years from 2007 until 2012.

Being a poverty alleviation program, it will pour in big investments for infrastructure as support for rural productivity such as farm-to-market roads, irrigation and bridges as well as livelihood and environment conservation projects.

As a package of investments, MRDP complements the President's aim of food sufficiency in the country by 2010. (SBM-MRDP/PIA XI) [top]

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