Published by Connie Barrameda on

A Katutubo caravan was held recently in a tribal community at Barangay Osmeña, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte where hundreds of “Kabihugs” unmindful of the strong summer heat trek the hills of Barangay Osmeña in order to join the activity.

These “Kabihugs” belong to the “Agta”, the generic term used in Bicol to refer to the 40,000 natives with dark colored skin, short statue and kinky hair. In order to preserve the culture of the katutubo in Camarines Norte, they called themselves “ Kabihugs”. There are 19 Kabihugs tribes in Camarines Norte. They are from the towns of Basud, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Capalonga, Paracale, Labo and Jose Panganiban. The Kabihugs who joined the event are from Guisican, Labo(also a tribal community), Paracale and Jose Panganiban.

As explained by DSWD Director Arnel B. Garcia, the katutubo caravan aims to provide with the basic social services and other entitlement from the government.

Since some of the Kabihugs are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, the day’s event also served as a venue for the beneficiaries and stakeholders to express the importance of the conditional cash transfer in their lives and personally respond to the issues raised against the program.

As shared by Dr.Vincent Asis, the Municipal Health Officer of Jose Panganiban, the Pantawid Pamilya contributed much in their journey toward the attainment of better health services for these sector.

According to Dr. Asis, there is a notable increase in the number of people availing the health services and a larger portion of these are the “ Kabihugs”. There are already Kabihug pregnant mothers who avail the services of the birthing facilities.

The pre-school children are now brought to the health center for regular check up, deworming and other health services. The mothers are now aware of proper health and sanitation.”Malilinis na sila, Dr. Asis said.

Ms. Merly Bubuyo happily shared on her experiences when the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program was brought to the IP community. There is an increase in enrollment among the Kabihugs. There are Kabihug children who excel academically in class. Their parents have already seen the value of education and actively participate in meetings and other activities of the school.

Julie Acula and Leoniza Noblezala, two Kabihug beneficiaries likewise shared that the Pantawid Pamilya has brought too much changes in their lives. They are now able to send their children to school, avail health services and we are now able to provide them with their health and school needs.”Lahat ng bayarin sa eskwela ay amin ng naibibigay at natuto na rin kaming painumin ng bitamina ang aming mga anak”

The government agencies who participated and extended their services are:

  • Medical Services by the Municipal Health Office and the Philippine Army
  • Philhealth Registration by the Philhealth
  • Free birth registration by the office of the Local Civil Registrar of Labo, Paracale and Jose Panganiban
  • ALS Registration by the DepEd

The Philippine Army likewise distributed used clothing.

The Katutubo Caravan was jointly sponsored by the DSWD, the Local Government of Jose Panganiban and the National Commission for Indigenous People.  # ##eejerusalem.



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