malmis 2014
February 14, 2014; Sitio Malmis, Barangay Baras, Baco, Oriental Mindoro: Mangyan pupils of Malmis Elementary School happily show the bag of goods they received from the “Isang Puso, Isang Handog” project on its third year.

The Regional Development Council (RDC) of MIMAROPA through its secretariat, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) MIMAROPA Regional Office has sustained its outreach mission dubbed as Project “Isang Puso, Isang Handog” to the Mangyan community in Sitio Malmis, Barangay Baras, Baco, Oriental Mindoro for the third time on February 14, 2014. A contingent spearheaded by the Organization of NEDA Employees (ONE) brought hope and brotherhood to the Mangyan brethren in Malmis.

The project which started in 2012 is supportive of the national government’s development thrust of inclusive growth.  It is also aimed at building confidence among the grass root communities who are the priority sectors of the socio-economic development as well as enabling them to become self-reliant and actively involved in community development. About one-hundred ninety-seven (197) pupils of Malmis Elementary School (MES) and eighty (80) families in the community benefitted from the project.

Sixteen (16) NEDA employees, one (1) representative each from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) MIMAROPA and National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), four (4) representatives from the Department of Education – Baco District, thirty-seven (37) Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel and four (4) individuals from private partners; two (2) of which are from Southern Gas Corporation and the other two (2) from Tamaraw Vision Network (TVNet) trudged the four-kilometre rugged and steep terrain leading to MES, the outreach site.

Bags of school supplies which include notebooks, pad papers, pencils, ball pens and crayons were distributed to the schoolchildren. Office supplies like reams of bond paper, rolls of scotch and masking tapes, permanent markers, cartolinas and more were given to the teachers. To the families in the community, bags of household goods which contain canned and other ready-to-eat goods, noodles, rice and used clothing were given. Various seeds for planting were also given to the community through the Parent-Teacher and Community Association (PTCA).

In response to Barangay Baras Resolution requesting for additional sanitary toilets in the community for health reasons, NEDA MIMAROPA, in coordination with the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM), was able to secure the commitment to provide certain number of water-sealed toilets in the community within the year from the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

This year’s Project “Isang Puso, Isang Handog” was realized through the support of generous groups and individuals both from public and private sectors. “Isang Puso, Isang Handog” further aims to encourage assistance from various organizations to adopt similar less-fortunate communities and eventually lead them in crossing the borders of poverty in the near future.