Gov’t implements projects in Kalinga NPA-influenced barangays

PINUKPUK, Kalinga, — Government agencies and local government units through the “Pumiyaan” anti-poverty convergence project continue to pour-in projects and deliver services to the four municipalities infiltrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) in the province.
Improvement of the Catabbogan-Wagod road and the completion of the Wagod vehicular bridge paved way for the introduction of more economic activities for the populace particularly this municipality where five of its barangays are NPA- influenced.
These infrastructure projects also directly benefit the municipality of Balbalan where six of its barangays are NPA-affected, as the road traverses that direction forming a circumferential road to connect Balbalan and Pinukpuk with Apayao via Conner, Cagayan via Tuao, Abra and the rest of Kalinga.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) earmarked P50 million for the continuation of the concreting of said road by Lower Kalinga District Engineering Office and another P50M also for the same purpose in the Upper Kalinga District Engineering Office side.
The road link is also proposed by Congressman Allen Jesse Mangaoang in Congress as a national highway to be named the Abra-Kalinga-Apayao road to ensure its completion, regular funding and maintenance.
DPWH also implemented two flood control projects in Ammacian, another two are on-going in Wagod while one was completed in Apatan, all in Pinukpuk.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) trained members of the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina members in Ba-ay, Pinukpuk on coffee and cacao processing in partnership with the local government unit.
DOST also provided Starbooks to the Balbalan Agricultural and Industrial School (BAIS) and Balbalan Central School where many of the students come from the NPA-affected barangays. A 4-weeks review on science scholarship examination was also conducted at BAIS.
Another kiosk or e-library was also established in Guina-ang, an affected barangay in Pasil. DOST also distributed 120 packs of complementary food to Maling.
The municipalities of Balbalan and Pasil were also awarded each P2.6M under the Department of Labor and Employment’s Tulong Hanapbuhay Para sa Ating Disadvantaged program where residents are employed for 10 days with P320 wage per day.
On the part of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Provincial Fisheries Office, 28 individual small fishpond owners in 7 of the 16 affected barangays were given tilapia fingerlings.
To deter NPAs from infiltrating other communities, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) conducted training on manicure, pedicure and basic hair cutting to female members and organic mushroom production to male members of the Ballayangon Farmers Association. Ballayangon is a land-locked barangays in Pinukpuk surrounded by NPA-influenced neighbors.
Early next year, TESDA will conduct training on coffee processing, packaging and labeling including provision of equipment. Coffee production is a major livelihood of the people in those insurgency-affected villages.
A training on masonry will also be conducted at Poblacion with some participants coming from those influenced barangays. Coordination is on-going with other barangays to plan out the conduct of some more trainings on other technical-vocational courses.
Plastic crates and net materials will also be given to the Balbalan Orange Growers. Balbalan is famous for its sweet native “gayunan”.
There are 16 NPA-influenced/less influenced barangays according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In Balbalan are Mabaca, Poswoy, Balantoy (Sitio Ligayan), Gawaan, and Ababa-an; Pinukpuk are Ba-ay, Apatan, Ammacian (Bonnong), Wagod (Bonnong), and Limos; Lubuagan are Western Uma, Upper Uma, Lower Uma and Tanglag; in Pasil is Guina-ang; and Tabuk City is Dupag. Influenced are Mabaca, Poswoy and Tanglag. The rest are less influenced. **JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga

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