DSWD Sec. Bautista leads inauguration of school buildings for Talaandig tribe in Agusan del Sur
TALACOGON, AGUSAN DEL SUR – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista led the inauguration ceremony of three school buildings for the Talaandig tribe in Sitio Akbayan and Sitio Tigbaw in Brgy. Zillovia on May 2, 2019.
One school building was built in Insibay Elementary School in Sitio Akbayan worth PhP2.27 million while another two buildings were constructed in Sindungan Elementary School in Sitio Tigbaw costing PhP4.36 million. Each building has two classrooms with complete amenities such as chairs, tables, blackboards, and electric fans, among others.
The school buildings were implemented under the Classroom Construction for Lumads (CCL) Project of DSWD Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program.
During the ceremony, Sec. Bautista emphasized the need to build schools for indigenous peoples to give them better access to education and more opportunities for learning. He also thanked the barangay officials and residents of Brgy. Zillovia for their efforts to implement the project.
“Dahil sa pagtutulungan ay nagawa ang eskwelahan. Naramdaman ng bawat isa na sa anumang bagay, sa anumang sitwasyon, kailangan [ay] sama-sama para mabuo at magawa [ang] anumang proyekto [na] dadalhin sa inyong lugar (Through your collective action, you were able to establish a school in the community. In any situation, it is important that you team up and work closely with each other so that you may accomplish any project for your community.),” he said.
DSWD Sec. Baustista emphasized the need of a school building to provide the children with better education during the inauguration ceremony of school buildings for the Talaandig tribe in Brgy. Zillovia.
According to the residents, this is the first time that they received an intervention from the government. Their areas are the farthest in the municipality located at the boundary of Agusan del Sur and the nearby province of Bukidnon. It takes a five-hour “habal-habal” ride and a five-hour hike to reach Sitio Akbayan, and another five-hour walk from there to Sitio Tigbaw.
Datu Jestoni Balansag, Talaandig tribal leader and DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity.
“Dako gyud akong pasalamat sa DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS ani nga project. Dako ang gikatabang ani sa amoa kay mao na gyud ni ang sugod sa paglambo sa among komunidad (I have the deepest gratitude to the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS for this project. Finally, our community is on its way towards progress.),” said Datu Balansag.
Talaandig tribal leader and community volunteer Datu Jestoni Balansag shared the journey of their tribe in pursuing the community’s dream school.
Before the projects were implemented, students from kinder 1 to grade 6 would cram inside a small house and had to endure the hot and uncomfortable atmosphere of the room.
By June, the Talaandig students can enjoy the comfort of a safe and proper classroom.
“Nalipay ko nga naa nay eskwelahan kay maka eskwela na gyud akong mga manghod ug ang laing bata diri sa among komunidad sa tarong na eskwelahan (I am very happy with the school building because my siblings and the other children in our community can finally go to school.),” said David Lalinan, a 13-year old Talaandig boy from Sitio Tigbaw.
The CCL project is a joint project of the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, Department of Education, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to scale up the education of the indigenous communities in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Arseas (GIDA) in Mindanao. It follows the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS’ community-driven development (CDD) approach wherein the residents are involved in every stage of the project implementation.
As of December 2018, there are 174 school buildings implemented under the CCL project in Mindanao. #
The Talaandig community posed in front of their constructed school building project, which will be fully operational this June at the start of the school year.
Written by: Clea Mariel C. Malunhao, Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Social Marketing Officer, DSWD Caraga