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Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli, CESO III, addresses the IP Summit participants during her welcome address, thanking the leaders for their time and effort in attending the said activity. During her speech, she promised the participants that DSWD and the partner agencies will give a hundred percent to ensure the success of the WNI engagement in the different IP communities in the region.

Butuan City Community leaders from the different Indigenous Peoples (IP) tribes of Caraga converged at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort on March 28-29, 2016 for the Whole of the Nations Initiative (WNI)engagement, where a proposed 198 classroom buildings will be constructed in IP communities all over the region.

The WNI engagement, which is being spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Program, is a convergent effort of the different stakeholders (national agencies/national commission offices) in addressing the different issues of poverty, especially those related to conflict problems.

DSWD is in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in extending aid to IP communities in providing school classroom buildings, especially those communities in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) which still do not have provisions for school classrooms.

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Engineer Jovenal Bernat, Regional Community Infrastructure Specialist for Kalahi-CIDSS Caraga presents the specifics of the proposed classroom building designs to the body, subject to their comments and suggestions.

DSWD Field Office Caraga Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli, commended the IP leaders for responding to the invitation to be part of IP Summit, which will serve as a venue for consultation between the WNI implementers and the IP leaders.

Malipayon kami nga ani-a kamo uban kanamo para madungog namo ang inyong opinyon, mga pangutana, ug mga suhistyon para sa atong pagabuhaton nga partnership sa pagtukod sa mga classrooms sa inyong mga komunidad (We are glad that everyone is here with us so that we will be able to hear your opinions, concerns and suggestions in our engagement in building your classrooms in your communities),” Brigoli said.

The IP Summit is part of the series of activities to be conducted in implementing the WNI engagement, which would also include site validation of the 198 identified areas, from the 75 barangays, 17 municipalities all over Caraga, and a community assembly, where the IP leaders will communicate the details of the WNI engagement to their communities for consensus for the engagement.

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Tanny Quillano, Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatvie (IPMR) of Carmen, Surigao Del Sur, expressed that the classroom buildings should be designed in accordance to the different tribes’ customs and traditions.

The Summit concluded with the IP leaders coming up with their respective scheduled timelines in implementing the sub-projects in their areas. The schedule will be a guide to the WNI implementers and the community to ensure that the sub-projects will be completed by June, in time for the 2016 opening of classes.  ###(MARKO DAVEY D. REYES/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)