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NCIP hosts national summit for welfare of IPs, ICCs

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--As part of the government’s nation-building program, the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) spearheaded a countrywide National Summit - Sectoral Unification, Capacity Building, Empowerment and Mobilization, gathering national government agencies (NGAs) and indigenous people (IPs) from around the country.

Under the theme, “Building Families, Building Ancestral Domain/Ancestral Land Communities and Building the Nation”, the event intended to refresh the commitment of the NGAs and local government units LGUs in the operationalization of the eleven building blocks of the indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) and IPs to make them resilient, responsive and relevant as they exercise self-governance while ensuring their security in their ancestral domains or lands.

Aiming to fully realize the said mission, concerned stakeholders guaranteed to extend aid whenever and however it is necessitated.

NCIP Chairperson Allen Capuyan highlighted that the journey of the indigenous Filipinos entails plenty of challenges but beyond these lies the abundance of opportunities available for the communities.

He stated that this is a shared course wherein people will all walk together in building families, communities, and a nation.

“The indigenous Filipinos are more than ready to partner with the public and private sectors. The future is definitely indigenous!” said Capuyan.

Affirming the rich cultural heritage embraced by the Philippines, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr. committed to continue its partnership with the NCIP in promoting the welfare of IPs in the country alongside the identity embedded in their culture.

This, as he believed that a country without culture is just like a person without a soul.  “Napakaimportante ng kultura [The culture is so important], and what is more important are the people representing this culture,” said Abalos.

Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan also stressed that there is no reason that IPs cannot live well-off because among his office’s objectives is to provide the IPs with necessary interventions to ready them to lead independently and be able to support as well in the food sufficiency goals for the country.

United Indigenous Peoples Heritage of the Philippines Honorary Chairman Pastor Apollo Quiboloy further pledged to always support in whatever way to contribute to the peace and development of the ICCs and IPs and their ancestral domains.

Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. President and General Manager Ronald Mascariñas meanwhile underscored that although the NCIP and the government itself may have insufficient funds, the private sector can still come to help.

He conveyed that not only his company is eager to contribute to the wellness of IPs but also other stakeholders present in society.  “We hope we can inspire more companies to do the same, to try to bridge the gap kung anuman ang kakulangan ng ating gobyerno,” said Mascariñas.

On the other hand, Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) Center Chairperson Lawyer Marlon Bosantog hoped that when people speak again of significant topics such as sustainable development, policies of inclusive growth, and peace and order, among others, IPs would be dearly remembered.  

He emphasized that this is because, at the end of the day, the value of the Philippines would always be reflected in how it treats its IPs. (CRG/PIA-10)

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Claire Gigje

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Region 10

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