SAGADA, Mountain Province, April 19 (PIA) -- The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS) led by PCOO Assistant Secretary Maria Paz Banaag conducted a cultural exchange and outreach program for a group of tour guides from the northern barangays of this town called BFTAMP (Bangaan, Fidelisan, Tanulong, Aguid, Madongo and Pide).
At least 120 members of the BFTAMP Tour Guides composed mostly of women, and barangay officials interacted with about 40 representatives from the PCOO and its attached agencies namely News and Information Bureau (NIB), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Radio-TV Malacanang (RTVM), Philippine Broadcasting Services (PBS), People’s Television Network (PTV), Bureau of Communications Services (BCS), National Printing Office (NPO), and APO Production Unit with the Cordillera regional offices of the PIA, PNA, PTV and Radyo Pilipinas Bontoc.
Banaag said the event is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive of bringing government services to people. She said that PCCO is conducting such activity to be more in touch with the indigenous peoples/communities such as the Igorots of Mountain Province.
Moreover, she explained it as a way of letting the employees from the PCOO and its attached agencies learn about the culture and traditions of the IPs and how to be more sensitive about the things that should be respected about the different cultural minorities.
A talk by Angel Abella of the Office of the PCOO Secretary on how the organization would be creating a sustainable tourism plan was also part of the program.
PCOO distributed some items to tour guides which they can use in their activities.
BFTAMP Secretary Alice Daoas expressed his gratitude to the PCOO for the opportune visit and tokens. She said they would be applying in their organization the things that they learned and they are looking forward to the next outreach program and interaction by the PCOO.
The event was capped by a night of gong beating and dancing of traditional Igorot dances led by Mayor James Pooten and Vice Mayor Ben Capuyan and former Mayors Tom Killip and Eduard Latawan.
Meanwhile, in Bontoc, the PCOO turned-over useful gears to the Bontoc Women Brigade led by Carolina Castaneda. The Bontoc Women Brigade is a group of elderly women that helps keep peace and order in the town by going around and knocking at establishments and encouraging costumers to go home by 10 o’clock in the evening.
Banaag said PCOO recognizes the efforts of the Bontoc Women Brigade in keeping the capital town of Mountain Province a peaceful and orderly place.
The PCOO team also participated in the parade of the 51st Foundation Anniversary of Mountain Province and the 14th Lang-ay Festival as part of the promotion of the Gender and Development. Redjie Melvic Cawis (EDT/RMC-PIA CAR)