Lumads in Caraga region adopt DROP to fight COVID-19

Published July 14, 2020, 8:42 AM

by Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – Chieftains and sectoral leaders of the different tribes in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region have adopted the Disaster Response Operation Procedure or DROP to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Shown in photo are the members of the indigenous Mamanwa tribe in Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte who recently attended the orientation on DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS Pamana Disaster Response Operation Procedure (DROP), which is aimed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy 0f DSWD 13 via Mike U. Crismundo/Manila Bulletin)

The ethnic tribes living in Caraga Region are the Manobo, Mamanwa, Mandaya, Higaonon, and Banwaon.

The indigenous peoples (lumads) communities within their ancestral domains in the region have adopted DROP, which is currently implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), to fight the dreaded virus.

Recognizing the disruptions caused by the pandemic in the lives and livelihoods of indigenous communities, the DROP allows Kalahi-CIDSS Pamana-covered areas to shift its operations from regular developmental activities into a disaster response modality to immediately address issues related to early recovery.

The areas with Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT) that shifted to DROP were CADT 093 – Sibagat, Agusan del Sur and Carmen, Surigao del Sur; CADT 048 – Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte and five Surigao del Norte towns, namely: Tubod, Alegria, Bacuag, Claver, and Gigaquit; CADT 134 – Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago towns in Agusan del Norte; and CADT 117 – Municipalities of La Paz and Loreto in Agusan del Sur.

DSWD 13, through the Kalahi-CIDSS PAyapa and MAsaganang PamayaNAn (Pamana) Program, have already conducted a series of municipal orientations, including tribal meetings, on the DROP in these areas.

Mabalaw Emiliano Gede, 65, a tribal leader representative of CADT 048, said that he, together with other Mamanwa tribal leaders, decided to adopt the DROP, as it aims to provide augmentation of resources to local government units for COVID-19 crisis response in the community or barangay.

On March 16, Proclamation No. 929 was issued declaring a State of National Calamity for a period of six months for the entire country. In response to the Proclamation No. 929, the KALAHI-CIDSS activated the DROP in covered areas of Kalahi-CIDSS to effectively and efficiently implement the program amid this crisis.

The KALAHI-CIDSS, in its capacity to work on the people in the vulnerable community, is taking its experience to use the program to complement with all other efforts of different government agencies. 

DROP is a temporary procedure that will be adopted to facilitate the implementation of the COVID-19 disaster response.

Some of the sub-projects eligible for funding under DROP are Cash-for-work (CFW) for community volunteers/residents for the cleaning and sanitizing public places and offices, communal livestock and/or vegetable/fruit gardening/farming, repacking of goods, manual hauling of food packs in GIDA, training of Barangay COVID-19 Response Team with a considerable number of the participants [observing social distancing, provision of  personal protection equipment (PPEs), and other locality guidelines on the Department of Health (DOH) protocols;

Retrofitting or refurbishing of identified public buildings like evacuation centers, barangay halls, school buildings, tribal halls, multi-purpose centers which can be converted as temporary isolation space for onward referral to the official treatment and monitoring facilities in accordance with DOH protocols.

PAMANA, under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), is the government’s framework for peace and development. It is implemented in conflict-affected communities, as well as in areas covered by existing peace agreements.

Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) falls under the second strategic pillar of the PAMANA framework, which is building resilient communities. 

The project objective is to improve the access of Kalahi-CIDSS areas classified as conflict-affected barangays to basic social services and responsive, transparent, and accountable local governments.