By Michelle P. Esteban
11 June 2022 | 9:00am – 3:00pm
Dike Elementary School and Angat Dam,
MWSS Compound, Norzagaray, Bulacan
The PhilKOFA’s mission is to link the KOICA scholars to the community through the outreach activities in one program, “i-Angat sa Dumagat” as a response program to the COVID-19 pandemic. The term “iangat” in Tagalog mean “to lift”. This June 11, 2022, we tapped the community of IPs in the Souther Tagalog Region. The IPs in Norzagaray Bulacan, “Dumagats”, received medical and agricultural assistance through this project at the Dike Elementary School and Angat Dam.
Since 2019, logistics for health care and source of livelihood remains a challenge for the IPs. The Dumagats are also challenged to cope up with the changing environment amidst the pandemic. The Dumagats are one of the major groups of indigenous people (IPs) living in the Southern Tagalog Region. This project lifted basic community assistance to this community by providing basic medical services, lecture and livelihood activities and help the community in reforestation through tree planting.
There were 27 participants including PhilKOFAs who actively joined the activities in partnership with the National Commission for Indigenous People, Department of Agriculture Bureau of Plant Industries (DA-BPI) and National Power Corporation (NPC) and in coordination with MWSS, Brgy. San Lorenzo and Dike Elementary School. Pre-registration was one of the requirements since the area is government controlled prior entry.
There were 181 (patients) Dumagats who were assisted thru medical check-up by the doctors (Dr. Mike Marasigan, Dr. Anna Florence Maranang, Dr.Alfred Maranang) and were given basic health care, vitamis and medicine. They were also provided by DA-BPI with vegetable seeds that they can use to grow in their backyard as source of livelihood. Simultaneously, the volunteers conducted tree planting activity with NPC. This project was also joined by volunteers from Philkofa, St. Pio Hospital medical team and friends of Philkofans. The donated clothes, food and school supplies were also distributed to the Dumagats.
This activity was able to fulfill the following United Nation’s SDG goals: SDG 3 Good Health and Well Being, thru the medical mission, SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, thru the lecture on livelihood garden-based farming, SDG 13 Climate Action, thru tree planting and SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals thru KOICA and volunteer doctors and other agencies
These initiatives in providing assistance to the indigenous people have given them the opportunity to a better health, support their daily lives with the provision of free vegetable seeds, and help in reforestation.