Surigao del Sur– Eighty-two (82) Manobo couples exchange vows, “kumbiti” in their local dialect, today at Sitio Bitaugan, municipality of San Miguel in Surigao del Sur.  The couples are identified and registered partner-beneficiaries of the modified conditional cash transfer for indigenous people (MCCT-IP) modality of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

For the Manobos in San Miguel, kumbiti is a life-long commitment that restrains self-centeredness, self-indulgence, and self-gratification. It is the one relationship that effectively prepares and conditions them for community. By restraining self-centeredness and promoting love of another, marriage becomes their strong foundation for social order.

According to the latest report forwarded by the Provincial Operations Office (POO) of Surigao del Sur, the Manobo kumbiti is the first that will happen in Sitio Bitaugan. The local government unit (LGU) of San Miguel facilitated the processing of the Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR) of the said couples.

The concerned office said that the pre-marriage counselling was done before the conduct of the proper kumbiti while the marriage vows are initiated by the local chief executive- Mayor Alvaro S. Elizalde of San Miguel.

Manobo tribe is one of the IP communities in Surigao del Sur massively situating in the municipality of San Miguel.

MCCT-IP is a government program created to cater IPs in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA). MCCT-IP as a program is driven with its three main goals; (1) to empower, (2) to promote, (3) and protect from any unavoidable adverse effects caused by the development process. ###(RYAN M. TAPAYAN/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)

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