Calinan, Davao City – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday, March 23, reiterated his commitment to help Indigenous Peoples (IPs), as he vowed to provide assistance for their livelihood.
The Chief Executive graced the 16th founding anniversary of the Supreme Tribal Council for Peace and Development Inc. (STCPDI) at the 3rd Infantry Battalion Headquarters here.
“I will help you survive, but you have to start now. I will give you assistance to cultivate your lands,” the President said in Cebuano.
Duterte pledged to provide the Lumads with tractors and seedlings and told them to take good care of the equipment.
“By taking care of your equipment it will function as it was intended to and last longer,” he said.
In February, the Chief Executive announced that the government would release P100 million to tribal communities in Mindanao.
The President also asked the Lumads to stop supporting the New People’s Army (NPA).
During the event, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Eduardo del Rosario presented 35 former members of the NPA.
Twenty-nine firearms were surrendered by 26 rebel returnees.
Ten are members of the NPA sparrow unit and 16 are active NPA rebels who were operating in the provinces of Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, North Cotabato, and Davao del Norte.
Nine active NPA rebels surrendered without firearms.
Before attending STCPDI’s founding anniversary, President Duterte led the hand over of 17 emergency vehicles to 15 local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao.
At the turnover ceremony held at the Boy Scouts of the Philippines camp here, the Chief Executive witnessed the blessing of a rescue truck, two pumper trucks, and 14 ambulance units donated by the Japanese government.
He then distributed the keys to the recipients, which include Davao City; Butuan City, Agusan del Norte; San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; Talacogon, Agusan del Sur; Montevista, Compostela Valley; Tagum City, Davao del Norte; Koronadal, South Cotabato; General Santos City; Cagayan de Oro City; Valencia City, Bukidnon; Zamboanga City; Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte; Bongao, Tawi-Tawi; Isabela, Basilan; and Cotabato City. PND