Issue of June 21, 2020
     
NEWS
Benguet
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
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Tribe in Kalinga to perform rituals as shield vs COVID-19
by Peter A. Balocnit / PIA

TINGLAYAN, Kalinga – Households of this municipality will perform the “forcha” to keep the Covid-19 away.

Mayor Sacrament Gumilab reported during the 2nd Quarter Joint Provincial Peace and Order Council and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council meeting that all tribal people will simultaneously perform the forcha, a ritual setting a boundary between the populace and all forms of illnesses.

Similar to the Biblical practice of asking providential intervention, the chicken which is the sacrificial animal will be put on fire.

“The smoke going up symbolizes the prayers and intentions of the tribal people lifted up to the Supreme Being or Kabuniyan to protect them from the Covid-19. The smoke is the protective veil that envelopes the municipality against the disease so that it shall be forever banned entry,” Gumilab said.

The municipality remains Covid-19-free.

Tinglayan reported it has fully used its P9.4 million Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities for programs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gumilab reported that P4,095,000 was used to purchase personal protective equipment medical supplies and equipment, and medicines while P5,320,879 was used to procure relief goods.

“We have scheduled the distribution of the third wave of relief goods containing a half cavan of rice and one chicken per household” in time for the performance of the forcha.

The Bayanihan Grant is a one-time assistance equivalent to one month Internal Revenue Allotment share of the local government unit released by the Department of Budget and Management to be used for Covid-19-related programs, projects, and activities.

Of the seven municipalities and Tabuk City, only Tinglayan reported a 100 percent usage of its Bayanihan Grant.


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