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Commissioner to IPs: ‘Be proud’

ROXAS CITY, Capiz (PIA) – Commissioner Jeorge Largado for the Island Groups and Rest of Visayas of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) told the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) to be satisfied and proud of themselves as their communities are being worked out to be resilient, relevant and responsive for national peace, security and development.

NCIP Commissioner for the Island Groups and Rest of Visayas Jeorge M. Largado

This was conveyed by Lagardo during the opening ceremonies of a two-day “Healing, Reconciliation and Operationalizing the 11 Building Blocks in the Ancestral Domain in support to the Whole of Government or Whole of Nation Approach by Empowering the Former Rebels, IP Youth, IP-Enlistment Personnel and IP leaders” on Sept. 19 and 20 at Donya Thelma Funa Ferrer Suhot Spring Resort in Dumalag town.

“Damo subong nagapakilala mga IP sila. Nga-a ikaw nga matuod-tuod nga IP nahuya ikaw magpakilala (Why are you ashamed as an IP when a lot are claiming they are?)," he noted, adding that the IPs have a lot of privileges and the government is working to address the community’s needs.

Lagardo and Philippine Army’s 301st Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Marion Sison led the signing of a peace agreement together with the Indigenous Cultural Communities/IPs from 36 ancestral domains in the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo; representatives from national government agencies; local government units of Lambunao, Tubungan and Calinog towns in Iloilo; and Dumarao town in Capiz; and University of San Agustin.

The peace covenant, that was sealed with an “Ambahan” chant by a Panay Bukidnon council of elder Lino Parle, aims to level the signatories understanding of the importance of the 11 Building Blocks and its operationalization thru support groups, come up with ways forward and actionable items to be undertaken in each of the Ancestral Domain/Lands and establish the significance of IP-EP recruitment as well as institutionalize the deployment and utilization of IP-EPs in the AD/ALs in support to Community Support Program undertakings to finally end the presence of the Communist Terrorist Group.

As provided by the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (Republic Act 8371), the 11 Building Blocks are Confirmation of Indigenous Political Structure (IPS);  Registration and accreditation of Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPO);  Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and Certificate of Ancestral Land Title (CALT) delineation process;  Establishment of Ancestral Domain Management Office (ADMO);  Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) formulation; IP Wealth Management-Community Resource Management Development Plan (CRMDP) Formulation; Institutionalization of Certificate of Precondition (CP), Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and Exercise of Priority Rights (EPR); Effective Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the local legislative bodies; Efficient and enhanced MOA/MOU/MOC formulation; Socio-economic activities with IP cooperatives; and Ancestral Domain Defense System. 

The gathering also included the showcase of cultural attires from the ICCs of Antique, Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo, and Guimaras and oath taking of 28 IP youth as a newly organized IP youth group in the island of Panay. (JBG/AAL/PIA Capiz)

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