DAVAO DEL NORTE (PIA)--- Government line agencies are expected to haul programs and pour services to newly discovered Tapayanon village nestled at the tri-boundary of the provinces of Davao del Norte, Bukidnon and Agusan.
In a press briefing in the City of Tagum, National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Noel Felongco committed to present Tapayanon, known as Sitio Tapayanon, to the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster of 24 national government agencies chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Discovered in February this year by Philippine Army 60th Infantry Battalion troopers, Sitio Tapayanon has been adopted by the municipal government of Kapalong. It forms part of the 37 villages of Barangay Gupitan that straddles the 60,000-hectare land area stretching towards the Pantaron Range at the tri-boundary of Davao del Norte in Davao Region; Bukidnon in Northern Mindanao; and Agusan in the CARAGA Region.
Along with Kapalong Municipal Mayor Maria Theresa Royo-Timbol, military officials of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, heads of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) among other government line agencies, Felongco went on a military chopper to Sitio Tapayanon to do ocular visit while hauling some government services.
"This will be factored into our roadmap on poverty reduction and human development and we will convince the agencies to commit their programs with projects and (corresponding) budget," he told media practitioners. "We will bring all the necessary programs and projects not only for Tapayaon but also for the neighboring sitios in Kapalong," he added.
Felongco revealed that Sitio Tapayanon had become a national concern after it was officially endorsed to the Office of the President in Malacanang.
"Gipangutana mi sa Malacanang unsay gihimo sa NAPC nga intervention (We were asked by Malacang what interventions that NAPC has done). There are concerned people that had referred this to Malacanang," he said.
Despite the focus given on Sitio Tapayon, Felongco assured the public that NAPC won't be leaving others behind but he said NAPC is concentrating on Tapayanon to addresses immediate needs of indigenous peoples in the area.
When discovered, counted families reached 98. As some have come back, current count reaches a total of 110 families, 60th IB Civil Military Operation Officer. Lt Amadeus Vincent John Celestial said.
But 60th IB commander Lt Col Gilbert Ombos found out that 56 individuals recently declared residency in Sitio Tapayanon. "Yong taga ibang sitio gusto na ring magpasakop sa Kapalong," he said. (PIA XI/Jeanevive Duron Abangan)