Duterte tells DA to help IPs in ancestral lands
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Agriculture Department to help the country’s Tribal People to develop thousands of hectares of Ancestral Domains into food production areas.
“Speaking before leaders of the different tribes in Mindanao, President Duterte said hundreds of thousands of hectares of Tribal Lands are left idle or unproductive because of the failure of government to initiate projects in the area,” Piñol said.
“The President said that some of the enterprising tribal groups lease part of their Tribal Lands to companies but the earnings are not enough to lift the tribal people from poverty,” he added.
Duterte then proceeded to tell the Department of Agriculture (DA) to work closely with the National Commission on the Indigenous People and other agencies to transform the vast tribal lands into food production areas.
In response to the call of Duterte, Piñol said he will task the Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Ranibai Dilangalen, to form a team exclusively tasked to prepare a master plan for the development of the Ancestral Lands into food production areas.
“Actually, I have already prepared a program for the development of the Tribal Lands which I presented to then Environment Secretary Gina Lopez which was not implemented because she failed to make it through the Commission on Appointments,” Piñol said.
The “Bantay Kagubatan” Program calls for the engagement of farming families and tribal people in tree farming with intercrops of Cacao, Coffee, Abaca or Black Pepper.
The participating families will also be supported with livelihood projects like raising native pigs and free-ranged chicken.