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P57M allotted for IP schooling

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A TOTAL of P57.12 million has been released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fund the schooling of indigenous people (IP) through the government’s Educational Assistance Program.

The allocation will not only aid the program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), but also the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples’ (NCIP) Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program.

“We always recognize the unique challenges faced by our IP communities,” Budget Chief Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a statement on Thursday. “The educational assistance program is a vital step towards empowering them, providing access to quality education and opportunities for advancement.”

Many IPs have struggled to continue with their schooling and suffer land conflicts due to armed conflict and discriminatory policies.

The fund would cover 1,358 beneficiaries from conflict-affected IP areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Southwestern Tagalog region, Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Mindanao region, and the Caraga Administrative Region.

Ms. Pangandaman signed the budget release on June 7. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz

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