Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – The 48th Infantry (Guardians) Battalion distributed assorted goods and grocery items to the Dumagat and Igorot tribes at Sitio Pulang Lupa, Brgy. Rio Chico, General Tinio, Nueva Ecija, yesterday.
One 48IB squad led by Lieutenant Colonel Felix Emeterio M Valdez, the 48IB Commanding Officer, accompanied by 1st Lieutenant Rolly G Legario, distributed the goods to the indigenous people (IP).
The assorted goods and grocery items include rice, coffee, canned goods and noodles that were distributed to the 80 IP of Sitio Bulak and 60 IP of Sitio Mapidya, through the assistance of Mr. Rufing Ramos, an IP leader, and Hon. Leonardo Bulacan, the Barangay Chairman of Brgy Rio Chico.
The location of Brgy. Rio Chico has been a constraint in the delivery of basic services to the IP. The unit had to find ways to reach the areas and deliver the needed services from the local government and even non-government organizations.
To this, the Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, Major General Lenard T Agustin AFP, said “The task at hand in providing these IP Communities a better place to live is huge. So we had to create an effective force that could deliver the basic needs they deserve. It is good that we gave them these necessities, but it is better to provide them with something they can work on and make progress in the long run so that it will give them pride and ownership that no one can they take away, and will motivate them further to work harder. With that, let us work all together for the benefit of our IP community to help them achieve a better and more sustainable community.”
Relatedly, Lt. Col. Valdez added, “The delivery of basic services to the far flung areas, especially to our IP community, has been one of our advocacies. We want these people (IP) to feel that they are part of the government’s plan towards peace, progress and prosperity. The challenge here is on how we join hands to provide these IP communities the services they deserve. And we will not stop until we have found the best way to do this.”