Assisted by the provincial gov’t of Leyte
TACLOBAN CITY-The members of the Mamanwa tribe, an indigenous people living in the hinterland of Burauen, Leyte have transformed themselves from wild hunters to modern farmers producing high value crops and vegetables.
Bernal Managbanag, 94, the chieftain of the tribe, admitted that the learnings in modern agriculture earned by his tribe members, was the turning point for them to abandon hunting of wild animals and fruits for their daily subsistence and practice scientific farming.
Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla extended assistance to the Mamanwa members last year and trained them in modern farming in coordination the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other government agencies.
About 50 tribe members– 19 men and 31 women – finished the training on the techniques of modern farming.
Managbanag said that the members of his tribe, 15 of them were even former members of the rebel group, the New People’s Army, are now producing high-value crops and vegetables such as onions, asparagus, radish, cauliflowers, strawberries, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, among others.
Petilla said that alongside with the training, his office provided financial support for the organizing and registration of the group at the Department of Labor and Employment for them to have a legal personality for them to transact business with any government or private entity.
He added that his office also extended support and provision of farm implements, agricultural tools and agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and vegetable seeds.
Petilla reported that presently, the members of the tribe are now productive and are now supplying the local markets with their high value crops and vegetabl-s harvested from their farms.
(RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)