The Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Regional Office IX held a meeting on May 19, 2021, at 53IB Headquarters Camp Maj. David Sabido, Guipos, to discuss partnerships and collaborations for the welfare of IP’s in Zamboanga del Sur.The NCIP, the agency of the national government responsible for protecting the rights and cultural development of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines, and the 53IB are scheduling another meeting to formalize partnership with a Memorandum of Agreement signing.
The meeting was attended by 53IB Officers and Staff, Good Life Academy Officers, NCIP IX Representatives, and Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Tribal Leaders.NCIP IX OIC-Regional Director Mercilyn Hatad led her staff in expressing support to the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) Project Good Life for FRs (Friends Rescued) during the meeting since most of the FRs beneficiaries are from Subanen tribes.
The NCIP IX Staff who accompanied RD Hatad include Technical Management and Services Division (TMSD) OIC-Chief Zena May Dumandos, Development Management Officer Criselda Boliver, and Community Affairs Officer Carmela Opay.
The IPMR Tribal Leaders who attended the meeting are the following: Felipe Sanlao, San Miguel; Sanchez Bayanbayan, Lapuyan; Gilbert Alangas, Guipos; and Ceciline Bitara, Katipuan.
53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera was represented by Capt. Michael, Bumidang, 1Lt. Maverick Rey Mira, and 2Lt. Rhomalene Custodio.Good Life Academy President Dr. Moibe Olitres led the presentation of Project Good Life for FRs (Friends Rescued) concept and activities milestones.
The meeting was also attended by NCIP IX staff and some tribal leaders including Nurse II Guipos Annie Rose Luminga, Midwife II- Guipos CSC, Juliet Jore,.
This activity is part of the 53IB’s drive to pursue transformation to become a world class Army that is a source of national pride by 2028 in line with the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR).