Zambales Aytas to receive P5-M aid from DA, NCIP


CLARK FREEPORT – Ayta Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) in San Marcelino, Zambales will receive P5-million funding from the government to boost production and processing of root crops.

This is after the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 3 (DA RO3) forged an agreement with the Central Luzon office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Region 3 (NCIP R3) on March 24.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Inclusive Enterprise Development Support Projects and Production and Processing of Root Crops (Purple Yam/Ube) under the Bayanihan 2 or Republic Act 11494 was signed in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga by DA RO3 Regional Executive Director Crispulo G. Bautista Jr. and NCIP R3 Regional Director Atty. Roland P. Calde.

Calde thanked DA RO3 for providing aid to the Ayta IPs in Zambales. According to him, the funding will address the availability and accessibility of food for Aytas in San Marcelino during the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Under the agreement, the NCIP, through San Marcelino Community Service Center, will directly implement the project together with the ICCs and Indigenous Peoples of San Marcelino represented by Samahang Katutubong Ayta ng San Marcelino (SKASM).

 Further, the SKASM shall establish a three hectare purple yam/ube plantation in each of the identified sitios within San Marcelino.

 Likewise, the SKASM shall provide 120,000 ube rhizomes or rootstocks in the first year of implementation of the project. In addition, SKASM will provide ube rhizomes to all IPs to be planted on their gasak or the traditional Ayta farm lots one year after the commencement of the project.

 The SKASM will buy the ube harvest of the ICCs/IPs to be processed as ube powder and the DA RO3 will help SKASM market them.

The target implementation of the project is from April to September 2021.