The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Region 3 headed by Regional Director Atty. Roland P. Calde, together with Regional Executive Director Crispulo G. Bautista, Jr. of the Department of Agriculture Region 3 enters to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The DA Region 3 funded the Inclusive Enterprise Development Support Projects and Production and Processing of Root Crops (Purple Yam / Ube) amounting to five million pesos (Php 5,000,000.00) under the Bayanihan 2, “Recover as One Act” or R.A. 11494. The recipients of the said project are the Ayta Indigenous Cultural Communities / Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) of San Marcelino, Zambales where they need the availability and accessibility of food during the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The ICCs/IPs of San Marcelino, Zambales represented by Samahang Katutubong Ayta ng San Marcelino (SKASM) shall:
• Establish a three (3) hectare ube plantation in each of the identified Sitios within San Marcelino;
• Provide 120,000 ube rhizomes on the first year of implementation of the project;
• Provide ube rhizomes to all IPs to be planted on their gasak one year after the commencement of the project;
• The SKASM will buy the ube harvest of the ICCs/IPs to be processed as ube powder; and
• Market the ube powder in coordination with the DA Region 3.
Also, RD Atty. Calde took the chance to thank the Department of Agriculture Region 3 by giving a gift of appreciation thru the three-book series Project EPANAW (Journey) Coffee Table Books 1(Pagkilala) , 2 (Paggalang), and 3 (Pagtaguyod). The books are significant in promotion of the four (4) bundles of IP’s rights, namely: a) Right to Ancestral Domains / Land; b) Right to Self-Governance and Empowerment; c) Social Justice and Human Rights; and d) Cultural Integrity.
The NCIP Region 3 Project EPANAW (Journey) recently held a book launching and photo exhibit on March 20 (SM City Tarlac) and March 21, 2021 (SM City Cabanatuan). The two (2) week exhibits is available from March 20 – April 4, 2021. Everyone is invited to visit and see the majestic wonders of our very own Indigenous Peoples! We remind everyone who would like to visit to abide with minimum health protocols such as wearing of face masks, face shields, and proper social distancing.