Mayor Joselito Guyguyon presented that Kiangan was included as one of the beneficiaries of the Angat Buhay Program together with other 60 marginalized municipalities of the entire country in 2016 when Vice President Leni Robredo visited the place, and asked the people of their needs of which her program can be of help.
Among the projects funded by the Angat Buhay through its partner agencies are the two-classroom school building at the Duit Elementary School, the Scholarship Grant to 21 young women of Kiangan for the 6-month course on Quick Service Restaurant Operation, financial assistance to small farmer organizations to expand their knowledge and improve their local production capability and the child welfare and protection program known as the United New Generation Advocates or UNGA.
Guyguyon related that when Typhoon Lawin struck in 2016, the Angat Buhay reached out to the Kiangan vegetable farmers and funded a field trip so that they can visit and learn from their counterparts in Nueva Ecija.
Free training was also provided where they learned the basics of crop cultivation and rotation, organic farming and agro-enterprise planning and market chain analysis.
One farmer from Barangay Pindongan shared that he was happy to be chosen to take part in the program because small time farmers like him now have opportunity to improve their production as inclusive business models were introduced to them to bring sustainable livelihood in farming communities.
Now they can go beyond traditional farming methods and gain access to bigger markets.
Meanwhile, the two-classroom school building is now providing a better and comfortable learning space for the pupils and teachers who were relocated in 2015 from their former site due to geological hazards.
On the other hand, the UNGA, which means child in the Ifugao dialect, is a program catering to children at risk and children in conflict with the law. The municipal government sees these children not as criminals but people that need help and not handcuffs. The UNGA program provides a holistic care for CAR and CICL through psycho-social therapy, parent-child interaction and character building to reduce the number of CICL cases to 90 percent by 2022. These activities will enable the children to be given the best opportunity to be an asset of the community notwithstanding the challenges they are facing.
The success of all these projects is made possible with the hard work, support and cooperation of the local government officials, the communities and the Angat Buhay and its partners.
Hearing all the stories presented by the beneficiaries from all over the country , the Vice President said that the stories tell the extent and depth of work that the Angay Buhay did in the past two years.
This started with a mother in Marawi City, who despite losing her home and livelihood due the war, found a way to provide for her children and overcame the greatest odds. Another is the story of a child who uses to cross rivers and walk up mountains just to attend classes, but now is able to study better. Thanks to the dormitory built by the partners of Angat Buhay.
Then there is the story of a hardworking farmer toiling his land from sunrise to sunset who is now discovering the potentials of his produce by reaching bigger markets.
Robredo explained that the Angat Buhay is not just a fight against poverty but a way of showing to the Filipino people that every human life is valuable and every chance to preserve it counts as the stories tell how the program helped people and families in the face of greatest odds.
It works to uplift the lives of Filipino people especially the marginalized so they must go to the farthest, smallest and poorest communities to open the door of hope for those in need as it is a fight for life in times of killings, a fight for unity in times of division and a fight for hope in a time of hopelessness.
Some of the partner agencies of the Angat Buhay Bridging Leadership Program that are providing funds for its different programs and projects are the Sea Oil Foundation, LBC Foundation, Jollibee Group Foundation, PHILAM LIFE Philippines, RODL Philippines, EON Company, Xavier University and the University of the Philippines. (JDP/DBC- PIA CAR, Ifugao)
By Daniel B. Codamon