President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to give PhP 100 million to help the agricultural and livelihood development of Lumad areas, especially those affected by the communist insurgency.
The commitment was made during a talk with over 900 Lumad leaders and elders during the Indigenous People’s (IP) Leaders Summit in Davao City.
Duterte said that he would be looking for investors that are willing to pour capital and help in funding the development of Lumad areas, and assured that government assistance will be given to the said tribal areas to help them have a secured and sustainable livelihood.
“Mag-release ako ng P100 million, temporary, pangtawid ninyo sa normalcy. ‘Yun ang gamitin ninyo,” Duterte said. “You have to learn something, a skill to help your family,” he added.
The President also added that he will look for qualified tribe people who could join the Armed Forces of the Philippines to help protect the Lumad areas against communist rebels.
Meanwhile, an estimated 1,100 IP leaders who attended the summit expressed support and gratitude for the president, saying that this is the first time that a president has set an initiative to meet with IP leaders.
“We strongly express our continued support to President Rodrigo Duterte, whom we believe will help us shape and achieve our destiny as United Indigenous Peoples Mindanao in our respective ancestral domains,” the IP leaders said in a statement.