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The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Caraga Region (DSWD-13) handed over Monday a PHP3.4-million multi-function center to an Indigenous People (IP) community in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

“The new center will help the IPs of Barangay Claro Cortez preserve their cultural practices and traditions. It will also serve as a meeting area for the indigenous community,” DSWD-13 said in a statement Tuesday.

The IP center was constructed through the DSWD’s KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA IP-CDD program. The KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA IP-CDD stands for Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Payapa at Masaganang Pamayaan IP Community-Driven Development.

DSWD-13 noted that the Manobos are the predominant ethnic group in Barangay Claro Cortez, and that neighboring IP communities and residents will also benefit from the project.

“The KALAHI-CIDSS PAMANA IP-CDD aims to empower the IP communities in the region through the implementation of programs and services anchored on a developmental approach,” the DSWD-13 said.

Barangay chairperson Teresita Daano and IP leader Hawudon Jonathan Engyo said the center will stand as the pride of the Manobos in upcoming activities and occasions of IP communities in the area. (PNA)