Davao del Norte – Governor Edwin Jubahib on Friday visited the isolated tribal village of Sitio Tapayanon, Gupitan, Kapalong, this province, as he fulfills his promise of looking after the welfare of the Lumads and ending the insurgency problem in the province.
The governor pushed through with the site visitation as the first implementation of his Executive Order No. 2, creating Task Force Davao del Norte to end local communist armed conflict in the province.
The document, which he signed just four days ago, also adopted the national peace framework, in order to harmonize the delivery of basic services and address the root causes of insurgency in the locality.
The site visitation was two days ahead of the Multi-Stakeholder Service Convergence Camp scheduled from July 21-23, 2019, which aims to address crucial socio-economic concerns of the Ata-Manobo Indigenous People (IP) in the area.
Jubahib said the delivery of basic services in the hinterland is the key to effectively persuade more Lumad rebels to return to the fold of the law.
“Kailangan nating ibigay ang genuine public service. Kaya nating tapusin ang insurgency sa probinsya kung ang lahat ng government agencies magtulungan (We need to deliver genuine public service. We can end insurgency in the province with the support of all the government agencies),” the governor said.
Dubbed as “Project Tapayanon”, the activity pulled together over 20 government agencies and non-government organizations to deliver basic social services to the far-off community that was once a hideaway of the new People’s Army (NPA).
Army’s 60th IB Civil Military Operations officer 1Lt. Amadeus VJ Celestial revealed the convergence camp is the first encounter of the villagers with government agencies.
He said the Lumad settlement has survived without hand-outs from outsiders for the last 100 years.
“Ourobjective for this first contact is to bring basic services and observe the villagers so that we will be able to determine the best intervention that will bring long-term benefits to the Lumads of Sitio Tapayanon,” he said.
With practically no access to government services, the far-flung village was discovered by the elements of the 60th Infantry Battalion during an encounter with the NPA sometime in March.
Located within the tri-boundaries of Davao del Norte, Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur, the isolated area is about a week of walk away from the nearest civilization.