Aetas in Angeles to be sent home
ANGELES CITY — A group of Aetas that settled under the Abacan Bridge in Barangay Balibago here will be sent home to Santa Juliana, Patling in Tarlac and Zambales. Tony Mamac, chairman of Barangay Balibago, said the Aeta settlers are not safe along the Abacan River during heavy rains because of lateral erosions. “We pity them but we have to do it. This is a danger area and flash floods coming from upper stream will cause life,” Mamac said. He said that the indigenous people go down to Angeles City during the Christmas season to beg for alms in the streets. “During the ‘ber’ months, we noticed the presence of our brothers coming down from the hinterlands of Santa Juliana, Patling in Tarlac and even as far as Zambales taking chance to earn money through begging for alms along Abacan bridge with their small children undermining their safety and health conditions,” the barangay chief said.
He added that the Aeta elders agreed to dismantle their shanties under the bridge. “We will provide them transportation to bring them back where they came from. Hard to see them in their condition. They seemed neglected by their respective local government units,” Mamac said. He added that local government units should be mandated to allot a portion of their annual budget for various programs including livelihood and skills training for the IPs.