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Subanens in ZamPen receive abaca stripping machines

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur 10 Aug (PIA) - In an effort to support the sustainable well-being of the indigenous communities within the region, the National Commision on Indigenous Peoples Office on Socio-Economic Services and Special Concerns (NCIP-OSESSC) in coordination with (NCIP)-9, recently facilitated the provision of abaca stripping machines to six Subanen Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) / Indigenous People (IPs) in Zamboanga Peninsula.

Among the beneficiaries of the machines are the IP communities of Bayog, Labangan, Mahayag, and Lison Valley in Zamboanga del Sur, along with IP communities of Tampilisan and Roxas in Zamboanga del Norte. 

Abaca also referred to as “Manila Hemp”, is known for its strong and quality fiber used for various industrial purposes. These fibers are continually harnessed for producing handicrafts like bags, a manufacturing practice that remains active in Mahayag and other municipalities in Zamboanga del Sur.

Bangat Gukom Lucenio Manda, representing the community in Bayog, expressed deep gratitude for the machine they received.

“Nagpasalamat kami sa Chooks-to-Go ug sa NCIP sa pagfacilitate ani hangtod naabot sa amo kay dako kaayo ning tabang sa among katawhan. Although ang abaca kay laborious, pero daghan kaayong tawo ang makatrabaho,” he said.

(We are grateful to Chooks-to-Go and NCIP for facilitating this until it reached us, as this has been a huge help to our people. Although abaca cultivation is laborious, it has provided employment opportunities for many individuals.)

The Bounty Fresh and Chooks-to-Go, as one of NCIP’s partner stakeholders in providing socio-economic initiatives to ICCs/IPs, are the benefactors of this project. 

Senior Vice President of Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. (BAVI), Dr. Erasmus Paderes, expressed the collaborative spirit driving this initiative. “We want to help our IP communities na magkaroon ng sustainable livelihood kaya naisipan naming magbigay ng abaca stripping machines,” he said.

(We want to help our IP communities in attaining a sustainable livelihood which is why we decided to provide abaca stripping machines.)

He further explained that the NCIP-OSESSC came up with a request to include all the IP communities for the project. Thus, out of the 94 ICC/IP communities, priority was given to those in greater need and with larger abaca plantations that could benefit more immediately. This is the reason why Zamboanga Peninsula is among the first recipients in Mindanao, following Davao region.

This ceremonial turn-over of abaca stripping machines gained added significance as it aligns with the celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This meaningful event resonates deeply with the IP communities across Zamboanga Peninsula. (NBE/RVC/HTB/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

About the Author

Harvy Bangayan

Information Officer

Region 9

Harvy T. Bangayan earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and is now pursuing his Master's degree in Public Administration at the same institution. A music lover, he now writes news in Zamboanga del Sur and manages the PIA Zamboanga del Sur Facebook page.

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