Prestigious Award. RD Agravante receives the highest military award for a civilian at the 60th IB in Asuncion, Davao del Norte for actively participating the Battalion’s public affairs and civil relations.

Asuncion, Davao del Norte – DOLE XI Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante received the highest military award for civilians at the 60th Infantry Battalion, this municipality on November 29, 2019. The award entitled Gawad Kaunlaran came with a medal and a plaque of recognition for rendering dedicated service and volunteering to support the public affairs and civil relations objectives of the Battalion, primarily on the military’s Project Tapayanon.

Tapayanon is an inaccessible sitio of Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte  cradled between mountains in the boundaries of Davao del Norte, Bukidnon and Agusan del Norte. The village which is inhabited by the Ata-Manobo Tribe was accidentally discovered by the men of the 60th IB during an encounter in that very remote area. The place was once a stronghold of the CPP-NPA.

The intervention of national and local government agencies and concerned stakeholders leads to the surrender of four (4) NPA regulars, twenty-four (24) Militia Ng Bayan, and 11 firearms.

In participation of the service convergence, DOLE XI extended its Emergency Employment Program (EEP) aka TUPAD (Tulong Para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers). On September 30, 2019, the first batch of 100 TUPAD beneficiaries who worked for ten (10) days received wages amounting to P3,960.00 each. Total amount for the emergency employment was P396,000.00. More batches are now working for the emergency employment.

For the extension of DOLE Livelihood Program (DILP), the agency in collaboration with the tribal elders organized the Tapayanon Women’s Rural Workers Association for possible grants that would lead to a sustainable livelihood.

“It is so ripe for DOLE and the stakeholders to extend immediate interventions to the Ata-Manobo in that area. They have been deprived and needing it for a very long time.”, said RD Agravante.

Ata-Manobos of Tapayanon render a song and dance presentation during the “Parangal”.

The “Whole-of-Nation” Approach mandated by Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte will eventually give more benefits to the Ata-Manobo in the area including education, health, farm-to-market roads, civil registration, peace and order, skills training, more employment and sustainable livelihood projects, and many more. (By Eduardo P. Monreal, LCO-Designate, DOLE RO XI)