Self-Sustaining Community in the Cordilleras Refused Relief Food Packs

A true of display of bayanihan.
IMAGE FLICKR/LEE

The COVID-19 outbreak has been a test of humanity. And it's a small town of more than 8,000 in the Mountain Province that's showing us how to do it properly. Located north from Bontoc, the municipality of Sadanga has refused relief food packs to help the "more needy."

In a public notice, the municipal mayor of Sadanga, Mountain Province Gabino P. Ganggangan made the decision after recognizing that Sadanga can and will sustain itself. Ganggangan also explained his plans should the crisis extend further. Read his full statement below:

Today, I was informed by our MSWDO that some relief food packs sent by the DSWD region are now available at the PDRRM office in Bontoc for LGUs that might be requesting.

However, I decided and instructed our MSWDO so to relay our message that our municipality will not be availing of these food packs even if the lockdown will be extended.

It's not that we don't have poor and needy families but I believe that we as tribal communities still have and should sustain our "built-in" and homegrown or indigenous social structure, values, and practice of taking care of our respective relatives or kins, neighbors, or kailyan in distress during hard times or economic crisis.

It is during these kinds of economic hardships such as "food shortages", hunger and famine that the "richer or better of" (kadangyans) among a clan or village are expected to aid their needy relatives by lending their surpluses.

Should this crisis extend longer to the extent that our needy families really run out of their rice supplies, we shall mandate the kadangyans of every barangay to open up their rice granaries ( agamangs) to sustain us through to the next harvest season.

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I assure that no family shall go hungry in our municipality even during these hard times.

Let the National Government feed the more needy urban poor in the cities and those less fortunate in other areas who can't sustain themselves, while we sustain ourselves while we can.

Again, I enjoin everyone to cooperate with our efforts to shield our municipality from this COVID-19.

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Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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