The Cordillera region is the seventh leg of the NCIP –led activity across regions to gather issues and concerns affecting the IPs in line with Executive Order 70 otherwise known as the Whole-of-Nation Approach to end the armed conflict.
Executive Director of the National Task Force – ELCAC and NCIP Commissioner Allen Capuyan said the ICCs/IPs are the ones mostly affected when it comes to the issue on insurgency.
He said the output of the activity from the lens of the ICCs/IPs, the NCIP and the other agencies will form part of the nationalaction plan which will be for adoption at the national level.
The NCIP masterplan will be operationalized by the NTF-ELCAC action plan which is all about governance, said Capuyan.
Issues and concerns were drawn based on the four bundles of rights namely rights to ancestral domain, social justice, self-governance, and cultural sensitivity. These are anchored on the 12 clusters identified under the National Task Force (NTF)-ELCAC program.
Capuyan said the issues and concerns will be directed to different agencies which will lead to a series of formal and informal agreements with each NCIP in the region, in the province and national office agreements among the concerned agencies that will guide them on how to address these through interventions.
He hopes that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA)will realize that there is a formula to end insurgency.
He cited two points in rectifying the wrong done in the past which affected the delivery of basic services- to correct structural defects and policy gaps in the laws and policies being issued . These are not only for the IPs but also for the farmers, laborers and other sectors.
A university student, Noemi Pal-og, appreciated the conduct of the event which she believes would make an impact to the IP youth and the elders as it would change one’s perspective. “It is a stepping stone in learning culture and more about IP rights,”she said.
She hopes there will be continuing educational activities such as this to address issues and concerns in the IP communities.
“As youth, we are the voices of our communities. Mayat koma nga mainvolve kami kadagiti programs iti communities tapnu diay naadal mi ket maishare mi iti dadduma nga kakadwa mi karkaro tatta nga adda kakadwa mi nga haan da naikkanti opportunity.” (We hope to be involved in community programs so we could share what we have learned especially to those who were not given the opportunity), Pal-og said.
Norberto Pacio, president of the Itogon Indigenous Peoples Organization, said the Whole-Nation-Approach program of the government is just timely. He learned a lot from the event such as the 12 clusters where issues and concerns were anchored with the corresponding interventions.
Pacio said he will advocate in his community the IP rights which he perceives people still lack awareness and understanding of. He also said he will support the government’s program on ending insurgency.
Dionisio Chungalan, IP Mandatory Representative of Barlig,Mountain Province hopes that there will be a sort of open forum among council of tribal elders in their place employing the traditional way of sharing what they have learned about NTF-ELCAC. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR)