SAN AGUSTIN, Pili, Camarines Sur—The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol through the Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo (4Ks) Program distributed laminated sacks, chicken layer feeds, and chicken nets to 17 indigenous people communities in Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon as part of their upcoming poultry project for this year.

According to 4K Program Regional Focal Person Dr. Mary Grace DP Rodriguez, the interventions amounted to Php370,530.00. The counterpart of the beneficiaries is the construction of their own chicken house.

Barangay Sta. Cruz Indigenous People Mandatory Representative Felino N. Melitante said that they have already constructed their chicken layer house through “bayanihan” or teamwork this month.

Melitante mobilized the community by giving them specific responsibilities in the construction of the poultry house.

“May schedule po kaming mga IP digdi sa barangay sa paggibo kaining kulungan nin manok asin dai pwede samo an dai magtarabangan dahil aram mi po na gabos po kami makikinabang (We have a schedule here in our barangay in the construction of the chicken house and we don’t exempt anyone not to help because we will all benefit from this),” said Melitante.

The IP communities that received the interventions were the IPs in Joroan and Mayong, Tiwi, Albay; Osmeña, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte; Iraya, Buhi, Camarines Sur; Tinawagan, Tiagon, Camarines Sur; San Pedro, Iriga City; barangays Atulayan, Patitinan, Sibaguan, Minadongjol, Kilomaon, Bongalon in Sagñay, Camarines Sur; barangays Sta. Cruz and San Rafael, Donsol, Sorsogon; and barangays San Jose and San Rafael, Bulusan, Sorsogon.

Prior to the distribution of these farm inputs, DA Bicol conducted livestock and poultry production; and organic agriculture production trainings to equip the IPs of the needed skills and knowledge in taking care of their animals especially layer chickens.

San Jose Agta Tabangnon Chieftain Juan F. Fortes disclosed that their layer house can accommodate 120 heads.

“Dagdag income an proyektong ini sa samuyang mga IPs dahil suru-semana, ipapabakal mi an bunay kaini sa merkado, asin an ipot kaini, kokolektahon mi para gibuhun organic fertilizer (This project is an additional source of income to us IPs because, weekly, we will sell these eggs in the market, and the chicken manure will be collected to make organic fertilizer),” Fortes said.

The 4K program is a national comprehensive program intended to empower and develop the IP communities with ancestral domains. This is in coordination with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the local government. (Jayson M. Gonzales)