The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Region XII and the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Ned Settlement for the implementation of the Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD) project in Ned Settlement, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Felix C. Frias said the agreement is necessary to obtain a Certificate of Pre-Condition from NCIP, ensure the protection of the rights and culture of indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) and maintain their ancestral domains and cultural well-being in the area.
Frias said the MOA covers all functions of the agencies and parties, including areas of cooperation, responsibilities and obligations of all parties, the effectivity, termination and other provisions, as well as the monitoring to be conducted by NCIP once the project starts.
“We support the implementation of this project because we know that all will benefit from it.” Datu Maquil said.
MinSAAD is a joint project of the Philippine Government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which the DAR is implementing in cooperation with other national line agencies.
The project aims to alleviate poverty, develop agribusinesses, generate employment, promote peace and order as well as improve the quality of life of the indigenous people through the provision of rural infrastructure and capacity building measures in the target settlement areas.
The project covers 12 settlements in Mindanao covering 7 provinces: Lanao Norte, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Compostela Valley and Davao del Sur. (Kathleen D. Sespeñe)