BUTUAN CITY – Amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Manobo tribe in Agusan del Sur, through its chieftain and sectoral leaders, received food aid from the local government of San Francisco town in Agusan del Sur province.
The Manobo communities, situated in far-flung 19 barangays in San Francisco, were among those who have been heavily affected by the implementation of community quarantine to contain the threats of the COVID-19.
The distribution of food aid to the indigenous peoples (IPs) was also meant to show the local government’s gratitude for “the enduring support of the IP leaders, not only during the threat of COVID-19 pandemic, but also to the programs and services designed to bring genuine peace and sustainable development in San Francisco and its barangays and neighboring areas in that province”.
Initially, 195 leaders and elders of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) received a half-sack of rice and food packs from the municipal government on Friday.
The highland IP communities also received relief assistance from the government of San Francisco during the series of food distributions conducted during the quarantine period.
San Francisco Mayor Solomon T. Rufila, deeply concerned about the needs of the highland tribe, also expressed gratitude to the IP communities for working to preserve the Manobo culture in the area.
The town chief executive encouraged the tribal chieftain and sectoral leaders to lead their respective constituents to continue participating the peace and development program of the government.
Meanwhile, Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane also mobilized the province’s social welfare department in extending food to all highland tribes in the province who are severely affected by the implementation of the community quarantine due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, the provincial government also extended food aid to the former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in La Paz town and neighboring areas of that same province.