BUTUAN CITY – As she introduced the Municipality of Esperanza in Agusan del Sur Province and its potential tourist sites during the Network Briefing News hosted by Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Office of Communications Operations (PCOO) on Friday, the Mayor Leonida Manpatilan also highlighted the rich culture and tradition of Indigenous Peoples (IP).
The mayor said that the municipality has three IP tribes, namely the Higaonon, Manobo and Banwaon. â€œThey are the original inhabitants of this municipality. We are also the hometown of the Golden Tara, which is now kept at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. It was found here in Esperanza Creek,â€ he said. she declared.
â€œIn terms of tribal culture, we are really rich in culture. As a Higaonon myself, I have been willing and very keen to promote and maintain the culture of the tribe as we are always very unique. Years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Higaonon, Manobo and Banwaon tribes typically come together every year to celebrate the Nalandang festival, during which these three tribes showcase their talents and the culture of their individual tribes, â€Manpatilan added. .
Asked about the state of its local economy in the municipality, Manpatilan said that Esperanza is engaged in agriculture and the cultivation of agriculture and forestry, considering that the main crops are rice and corn; and there are rubber plantations, as well as individual rubber, fruit, coffee and livestock planters.
â€œBecause we are landlocked, we have tilapia fish pens as one city, one product (OTOP). Bananas reach Manila because they are brought to the port of Nasipit in Agusan del Norte province, and our maize and rice also reach Davao and Cagayan de Oro City, â€added Manpatilan.
In addition, regarding the situation of peace and order, Mayor Manpatilan said that â€œof the 19 barangays identified as areas infiltrated by the New People’s Army (NPA), they were already cleared last year and are included in the list to receive the benefits of the ELCAC (Ending Local Communists Armed Conflict) Fund.
â€œWe haven’t gotten rid of the insurgency completely, but there are already 19 identified infiltrated barangays declared cleansed and they will receive the profits owed to them from ELCAC funds. There are still shards left in the mountains as Esperanza has a vast expanse of mountains. The government also continues to intensify the counterinsurgency campaign through a national approach, â€Manpatilan said.
Manpatilan expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his administration for all the support they have given to the various LGUs, including Esperanza amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She also called on the national government to help speed up the accessibility of the Malaybalay to Bukinon road from Esperanza, so that local farmers and entrepreneurs in the region can easily mobilize and bring their produce to different markets. (JPG / PIA-Agusan del Sur)