The indigenous peoples (IP) communities in Barangay Sandoval in Bataraza received two units of hand tractors complete with trailers from Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) under its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) fund on April 19.

The tractors were given to improve the quality of life for more than 70 households in IP communities in Bataraza’s Sitio Malatgao and Sandoval Proper.

CBNC allocated an amount of P357,620 from its SDMP for the project.

Meanwhile, the IP communities vowed to take care and maintain the equipment to make it serviceable for a long time. The members have promised to give their monthly contribution or a percentage of their income to support the maintenance of these farm equipment.

“Sa aming kahirapan, nakapag-isip kami na hilingin sa CBNC na ang SDMP fund namin ay ilaan para sa pagbili ng hand tractors, para guminhawa ang pagbabasakan namin. Ngayon kasi ang ginagamit namin ay araro lang at suyod. Mahirap po, mas madali po kung hand tractor, (Because of poverty, we requested to CBNC to allot our SDMP fund for the procurement of hand tractor, so that it will be a lot easier for us to cultivate our farm. What we are using now are just plow and harrow. It is difficult, it will be easier if we use hand tractors), said tribal kagawad Mangge Maticang during the turn over.

In addition, tribal kagawad Benito Micray said, “Nag-request po kami ng hand tractor kasi po mahirap po ilabas ang aming mga produkto, sa tulong po nito ay makakapag-deliver na rin po kami ng aming mga produkto.., maraming salamat po sa CBNC na tumutulong sa amin, binibigyan po nila kami ng pag-asa, (We requested hand tractor because it’s difficult for us to bring our products to market, with the help of this [trailer], it will be easier for us to deliver our products. We thank CBNC for continuously helping us, they give us hope).

The hand tractors will be utilized on a regular basis by each member of the IP communities. The sharing of the units will aid in the creation of a stable and supportive structure among the members, leading to improved economic growth in the area.

CBNC continues to execute livelihood programs and other initiatives that will assist improve the standard of living of indigenous peoples not just in Barangay Sandoval but across the Municipality of Bataraza, in accordance with the SDMP Objective.