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PIA Press Release

Davao Oriental state college extends livelihood skills training to lumads

Mati City, Davao Oriental (27 February) -- The Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DSCST), in collaboration with local government units, is extending livelihood skills training and capability building services to lumad residents belonging to the Mandaya and Manobo tribes who dominate barangays Macambol and Cabuaya in Mati city.

Christian migrant settlers and Kalagan muslims who live in the two barangays are also included in the program.

Dr. Grace Lopez, president of DOSCST, said it is part of the mandate of the state college to provide its extension services to the constituents within the area of coverage of the college.

She pointed out that two of the four thrusts of the state college are extension and production which require them to provide extension services to the communities.

According to Dr. Roy Padilla, who is the head of the extension unit, this is the first time that DOSCST is providing a comprehensive skills training and capacity building program to indigenous peoples communities. Although in the past, the state college was commissioned by the Aus-AID to implement its Basic Education Assistance to Mindanao (BEAM) project in Davao Oriental.

Dr. Padilla said a memorandum of agreement was entered into by and between the DOSCST and the BHP Billiton, an Australia-based mining firm which has an ongoing mining exploration application in Davao Oriental, to jointly undertake the skills training and enhancement program.

He said under this scheme, the BHP Billiton has committed to provide funding assistance in the amount of PhP 3.5-million to finance the acquisition of poultry and animals for dispersal to the recipients. More than 100 families are targeted to be the beneficiaries of the project, he added.

Dr. Padilla reported that initially, each of the ten families had already received six heads of goat (a cross-breed of native and Anglo-Nuvian breeds). They are expected to return nine heads of does (female goats) within a period of two years. The counterpart of the recipients is the construction of goat house or poultry house to ensure safety and protection of animals from harm.

One of the important components of the skills training is that the intended beneficiaries are sent for an educational tours where they visited the Mt. Carmel Baptist farm in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, in demonstration farm of the University of Southeastern Philippines in Mampising, Mabini, Compostela Valley Province, and at the backyard livelihood farm in San Isidro, Davao Oriental. Dr. Padilla stressed the importance of the educational tour under the concept "learning by doing and by seeing."

Rosario Mapinogos, a Mandaya wife of a farmer of barangay Macambol said that "daku kaayo ang natabang sa among pagbisita sa mga kaumahan kay nakatoon ug unsa gyud ang maayong pagbuhi sa mga hayop" (the educational trip is a great help to us because we have learned how to raise animals).

On the other hand, Merlito Lagbawan a fisherman who belongs to the Kalagan tribe, said that "ang proyekto sa Davao Oriental State College nakahatag ug dakung higayon sa amo aron madugangan ang among kita sa pagpangisda" (the livelihood project of the Davao State College has given us an opportunity earn more income aside from fishing).

Aside from goat raising the lumad beneficiaries will be given 50 heads of cross-breed chickens who want to undertake poultry raising and others will venture into pig raising on selective basis only. (DSCST/PIA XI) [top]

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