NCIP approves ANI project with Bagobos
By James A. Lpyola
The rice and corn production project of AgriNurture Inc. (ANI), in partnership with the Unified Bagobo Tagabawa Tribe (UBTT) of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato, has been approved by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) – Region XI.
In a letter signed by NCIP Chairman Allen Capuyan, the NCIP approved the Certification Precondition (CP) for ANI rice and corn project to be operational in UBTT ancestral domain, particularly in Barangays Binaton and Goma, Digos City, Davao del Sur.
Earlier, businessman Antonio Tiu’s ANI inked a memorandum of agreement with UBTT to plant rice-corn in some 10,000 hectares of ancestral lands in the province.
“We are deeply grateful to the NCIP led by Chairman Capuyan for recognizing the importance of this rice and corn project – a key component of President Rodrigo Duterte’s food security policy and investment thrust for indigenous peoples,” UBTT said in a statement.
The IP group likewise thanked Agriculture Secretary William Dar for endorsing and supporting the collaboration between the agribusiness sector and indigenous peoples, particularly ANI’s planned investment in their sprawling ancestral lands.
To finally jumpstart the project, the UBTT also appealed to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to provide much-needed financial support to the massive undertaking.
The unified tribe said it is reaching out to DBP President Emmanuel Herbosa to provide the needed agricultural loan facility to ANI to finally establish and operationalize this food project.
“We’re hopeful and expectant that President Herbosa will fasttrack the process since ANI has already complied with the bank’s loan requirements. President Duterte has instructed government financial institutions to provide funding support (by way of loans) to make these kinds of projects a reality,” the tribal leaders stressed.
UBTT said DBP support is critical to ensure the success of the project envisioning to create as much as 10,000 jobs and livelihood to the entire ancestral domain once fully operational.
“The Tribe also appreciates the help extended by DBP VP Annie Veloso and her team whose silent yet ostensible effort and hard work is instrumental to the timely completion of technical and field work components of the process,” the group added.
The tribe also cited the continuing support and assistance of Davao del Sur Governor Mark Cagas, Digos City Mayor Josef Cagas, and the Barangay Captains of Binaton and Goma, who were always there since the project’s inception.
“We reiterate our sincere commitment to continue our collaboration with government, to fully cooperate with AgriNurture, Inc. (ANI) and to support and protect the integrity and sustainability of this project,” it concluded.