The Indigenous Village in the Municipality of Rizal, Palawan
[Credits: SB Grazil M. Zapanta] The Indigenous People (IPs) recieved their Solar Home System

In 2018, during the Malaria Summit, the idea of making an IP Village was presented due to the increased number of cases of malaria disease. The project was partnered with the Department of Health, Center for Health Development IV-B of the DILG, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), and Municipal Government of Rizal. It has been addressed in health concerns among IPs.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 20, 2019. It has been attended by the Program Manager Marvi Trudeau with the DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana, Vice Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates, Rizal Mayor Norman Ong, and Barangay Chairman Reynaldo Cortaje.

During the ceremony, Marvi Trudeau concluded that “Madali na natin mamo-monitor kung nagkakabit sila ng kulambo, kung may sakit at kung may outbreak ay madali natin makontrol. Kung ito ay tuloy-tuloy, sigurado na ang malaria sa Rizal ay mawawala. Hindi namin iiwanan ang Palawan hangga’t may malaria, hindi namin ito iiwanan hangga’t hindi ito nagiging malaria-free province,” he said.

According to Municipal Health Officer Dr. Kathreen Luz Micu, “Sa health concern, mas maganda ito na hindi tayo mahihirapan na ihatid sa kanila, mas makaka-focus tayo at malaking tulong itong IP Village na itinayo at titirahan ng mga katutubo na nangangailang ng serbisyo natin,”.

There are two IP Village in the Municipality of Rizal, is located in Sitio Bayabas, Barangay Bunog, and in Taburi. The village in Barangay Bunog has a land area of 55 hectares and can accommodate up to 100 households and the village from Taburi will also establish the same houses.
On the other hand, the project village faces issues that there were no consultations from the IPs, and the Officer-in-Charge ng Provincial Engineering Office, Saylito Purisima, clarified the issues and has informed that “During that summit, the province introduced the idea of having the IP Village, ibig sabihin ay titira sila [katutubo] sa isang village at hindi babaguhin ang normal way of life nila then the group agreed on that idea presented by the Provincial Government. So immediately, a week after, ako and [DOH Regional Director] Dr. Baquilod ay pumunta sa Rizal na may mataas na prevalence ng Malaria. Then sinabi namin sa meeting with all the chieftains and brgy captain sa mga barangay na may Malaria cases na kung sino ang gusto na tayuan ng IP Village. So hindi natin pini-pressure yung mga katutubo na gagawa ng IP Village dahil sila mismo ang nag-request.”

"Kasi napakagandang proyekto ito at hindi natin binago ang way of life nila instead binibigyan natin ng opportunity para ang service ng government ay madaling mai-access para sa kanila. So mali yung information na' yun na ayaw ng mga IPs, in fact naghintay ang ibang IPs sa ibang barangay na gagawan na ng IP Village", Purisima added.

Chieftain Bugol Lebasa, also said that “Sa totoo lang, kami po ang nag-claim sa area na gusto namin bumaba sa kabundukan kasi naninirahan kami sa kabundukan. Maraming may malaria kasi sa amin kaya mahirap kaming puntahan. Ako ang nagdesisyon na kami ang pumunta sa IP Village. Medyo maganda na rin ang buhay at ang iba pa nga ay ayaw na umuwi sa bundok.”

In addition, there is construction for Barangay Health Station, Daycare center, Multi-purpose Building and road concreting in the village that would be beneficial for the IPs.

References

The Philippine Information Agency-MIMAROPA
palawan-news.com


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