Sitio Liglig, Tanglag in the municipality of Lubuagan in Kalinga is a farming village that can be reached by a two-hour hike across rugged terrain and crisscrossing rivers. Barangay Tanglag came to prominence at the height of the community protest against the construction of the Chico River Dam in 1976 during the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. The residents protested the dam project for fear it would submerge farms and communities.

Last November 2019, Barangay Tanglag in Lubuagan and barangays Mabaca and Poswoy in Balbalan were categorized by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as New People’s Army (NPA) influenced barangays while barangays Western Uma, Upper Uma, Lower Uma in Lubuagan; Guinaaang in Pasil; Balantoy (Sitio Ligayan), Gawaan, Ababaan in Balbalan; Baay, Apatan, Wagod, Ammacian (Sitio Bonnong), Limos in Pinukpuk and Dupag , Tabuk City were labeled as less influenced.

We joined DOLE-CAR Regional Director Nathaniel Lacambra, Dr. Avelina Manganip, DOLE Kalinga Provincial Director, DOLE CAR TSSD Chief George Lubin, Jr. and SLEO Lourdes Canseco to deliver farm equipment for the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) project for the Tanglag Community Organization for Unity and Development (TaCOUD). The postharvest facilty consist of two units of portable rice mill, two multi-thresher and two hand tractors with complete accessories.

An hour and half drive from the DOLE Kalinga Provincial Office in Tabuk City and a twenty minute walk from the closest road network to the heart of Barangay Tanglag, we were met by Tanglag village chief Edwin Campilis, his kagawads and the friendly villagers. We were offered brewed coffee and “inandila”, a native delicacy of Kalinga, made of pound malagkit (sticky rice), ladok (the brown precipitate left in coconut oil extraction) plus brown sugar or muscovado.

After thirty minutes, Atty. Charisma Anne Dickpus, Mayor of Lubuagan, GovernorTubban’s  Executive Assistant Elizabeth Balais, Lubuagan PESO Manager Divina Tallog, IPMR Representative Naty Sugguiyao.  The men and women of the 2nd Kalinga Police Mobile Force Company (PMFC) led by Lt. Col. Daniel Fakat and  the group led by 50IB Commander Lt.Col. Melanio Somera also travelled with us to the village.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has been strengthening its integrated livelihood program as it slowly shifts its focus towards providing livelihood grants for people’s organizations in the far flung barangays in the Cordilleras. A member of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).

The DOLE is one of the lead agencies implementing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order 70 to end insurgency and to continuously provide assistance to individuals and marginalized groups in so-called communist infiltrated areas.

The DOLE also provided individual livelihood projects to villagers of Tabuk City, Kalinga namely Beverly Mina, a solo parent to start up with her Ornamental Plant Gardening project amounting to P 24,000; Chandy Wangil, a PWD for his Sari-Sari Store (P 29,840); Leticia Abawag, solo parent for her fruit vending project; Rebel returnee Charhin Dawagan for Welding Shop Project amounting to P 29,500; Rebel returnee Denver Pannugan for his Bread and Cake Making project amounting to P29,950 and Hans Karl Bagsao, military personnel who was Wounded-In-Action for a Sari-Sari Store project amounting to P 21,440.

DILP or Kabuhayan Program is the DOLE’s contribution to the government’s agenda of inclusive growth through massive job generation and substantial poverty reduction. It seeks to reduce the vulnerability to risks of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized workers by providing them access to a grant assistance for capacity building on livelihood ventures either for individual or group undertakings.

The eligible beneficiaries of the DILP are the Self-employed workers who are unable to earn sufficient income;

Unpaid family workers; Low-waged and seasonal workers; Workers displaced or to be displaced; Marginalized and landless farmers; Marginalized fisher-folks; Women and Youth; Persons with Disability; Senior Citizens; Indigenous Peoples; Victims of Armed Conflicts; Rebel Returnees and Parents of child laborers.

END/Patrick Rillorta