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How coffee, corn help won peace in Bukidnon

Bukidnon has a long history of internal armed conflict. From tribal wars to insurgents, this lush land of forests and agriculture is scarred with violence. Consequently, one factor contributing to such armed violence is poverty. Government services are not accessible due to factors like road conditions and distance, available resources, such as financial and physical assets, and most importantly, education.

Manobo-Pulangihon people as beneficiaries of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) project with DSWD staff and partner stakeholders.

Depriving poor communities from access to their basic rights make the Indigenous People vulnerable to joining militants. Yet not everything stays the same forever. One barangay in the Municipality of Quezon, Province of Bukidnon is about to experience change and, soon, peace.

Sitio Gamut of Barangay Sta. Filomena is considered the farthest community in Quezon. 24 kilometers from downtown with approximately 400 households, the area is mostly inhabited by the Manobo-Pulangihon tribe people. They are traditional farmers who lack new technology for post-farming activities such as shellers and haulers to augment the market value of their produce like corn and coffee.

Achieving peace through capacity-building of vulnerable communities with income-productive citizenry.

They lack the capital to buy the necessary machinery. Saving money is a luxury they cannot afford to do as they need every cent earned for their daily needs.

With the introduction of a Sustainable Livelihood Program’s Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (SLP Pamana) project to their community, the locals have reckoned the idea that things are about to change for them. The group of farmers with 30 members has been organized into an SLP Association which adapted the name Barangay Farmers Tribe Group Pamana SLPA.

To aid the association in their farming activities and increase their production rate, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process have provided the association with corn sheller and coffee dehauler.

People working together as a community: coffee dehuller being transported to the association’s center of business operation.

The said project is one of the government’s programs to strengthen peace-building, reconstruction, and development in conflict-affected and vulnerable areas. Notably, it is not only the association who will benefit from the said project but the whole community as well.  

Looking forward to the improvement of their income through the provision of the much-needed service, the members of Barangay Farmers Tribe Group Pamana SLPA likewise hope to achieve peace through productivity and socio-economic growth as they soon harvest their valuable grains of corn and coffee.

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