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IP Month: A Celebration of Culture and Overcoming Obstacles

Mr. Joel D. Cam, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Regional Program Coordinator for NCR, pictured welcoming the participants in the event.

The Philippines is known as a treasure trove of culture. It boasts a very diverse culture that is scattered around its 7,641 islands, waiting to be fully showcased to the world.

Indigenous Peoples are the foundation of this rich tapestry of culture. According to the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Indigenous Peoples or IPs is defined as an ascribed group of people or homogenous societies that maintained long-established traditional customs, traditions and other cultural traits and resisted influences of colonization, foreign religions and other culture. Around seventeen (17) million Indigenous Peoples belonging to more than one hundred fifty (150) ethno linguistic groups that can be found in different provinces in the archipelago.

However, despite a constitutional guarantee and the passage of a special law for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in the Philippines or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), IPs and Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) still experience discrimination that suppresses basic rights and development.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has increased its effort to reach the sectors of the society in most need of its programs and services, including the IP sector. The Modified Conditional Cash Transfer under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program for IPs was launched to target provision of support services to IPs.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provides cash grants to poor households including IPs with children 0-18 years old provided they comply with the conditions of the program such as sending their children to school, bringing them for regular check-ups at their respective health centers and attending Family Development Sessions.

The Modified Conditional Cash Transfer under the Pantawid Pamilya for Indigenous Peoples was created to match the culture and traditions of IPs and ICCs.

To further support the IP sector and in observance of the National Indigenous Peoples Month, the Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program held an event entitled “Buwan ng Katutubong Pilipino: Ipagbunyi at Ipakilala ang Sining at Kultura ng Katutubong Pinoy”  on October 21, 2018 at Elan Hotel, San Juan City to celebrate the National Indigenous Peoples Month.

The program has been supporting the advocacy of IP empowerment and recognizes their share in the national development since it began. Hence, the activity aims to appreciate their contribution to the implementation of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and promote unity amongst them.

About one hundred seventy (170) program members from the cities of Pasay, Taguig, Paranaque and Manila that migrated in the National Capital Region (NCR) in search for greener pasture participated in

The Sama Bajau group presents their workshop output showing their fishing as their traditional economic activity.

the event. Pantawid’s Regional IP Focal Person, King Reynan Heres, estimated that 3% of the program’s partner beneficiaries are identified to belong in different IP communities.

During the program, Mr. Heres gave a lecture on the current situation of the Indigenous Peoples and some of the common issues they face being a migrant in an urban area like NCR.

Another highlight of the event is the discussion of the the contribution of IP Members to the program. During this segment, participants were divided into groups and were asked to draw their aspirations and how to obtain it as a contribution to the goals of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The rest of the program featured different traditional recreational activities such as “Kadang Kadang” and “Malong race”. In “Kadang Kadang”, players have to step on and balance on coconut shells and race to the finish line.

Different IP groups also showcased their dancing, singing and theatrical performances during the succesful event.

This post was written by:

- who has written 75 posts on DSWD Field Office NCR Official Website.


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