Ancestral domain, ethnicity problems in MP
BONTOC, Mtn. Prov.– Some tribal leaders and elders and Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in the province converged last Wednesday and Thursday, October 30 and 31, 2019 at the Pearl Café and Restaurant here, to tackle common problems besetting the five (5) major tribes in the province, namely; Kankanaey, Applai, Bontok, Balangao, and Baliwon.
The activity was conducted by the Lang-ay Festival Organization in coordination with the provincial office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). It was funded by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The objective of the activity was for the participants in a workshop to identify major problems of the individual tribes. The problems were synthesized into major common problems of all the tribes in the province.
These problems will be presented to concerned government and non-government agencies for favorable resolutions or recommendations for possible actions.
Fr. Marcial Castaneda, the spiritual counselor and member of the board of the Lang-ay Organization, described the evvent “as a dialogue of the past and the present, a dialogue of culture and the faith, and a dialogue of peoples and tribes”.
He stressed the importance of looking at the deeds of our forebears and the onslaught of technologies in our lives at present and the importance of intertwining of culture and the religious faith.
“He urged the elders as usual to lead the young with credibility and integrity and to teach them the values of innayan and lawa that the elders professed.
Atty. Wilson Kalangeg, the provincial officer of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) also urged the participants to contribute in finding solutions and recommendations to the overall concerns of the tribes.
The participants were grouped into the five major tribes for workshop 1 to identify issues and concerns of their respective tribes.
In workshop 2, the participants came up with the most common and relevant issues and concerns.
The settlement and recognition of ancestral domain boundaries, and the problems on the recognition of the sub tribes as separate and distinct from each other just like the major issues and concerns. Support for Cordillera Autonomy was also identified.
All the tribes identified ancestral boundaries as the major concerns and even adding that the political boundaries are different from the ancestral ones.
On ethnicity, the improper use of native attires was scored. It was cited for example that the tapis for women has no official and uniform design.. No problem for men as they use the wanes or g-strings only but the improper use of head gears was also mentioned.
Barlig representatives asserted that those in Central Barlig should be called e-Fialika, e-lias, and e-Kachakran instead of being lumped in the tribe of Balangao.
The Paracelis representatives who supposedly belong to the Baliwon tribe are also asking for the recognition of Ga’dang as a separate and distinct tribe from Baliwon.
Other concerns cited, among others, are the institutionalization of the conduct of Peoples’ Day in all LGUs for all the concerns of the people to be addressed. The establishment of dialysis centers in the municipalities, especially those that have no dialysis centers and are far from such centers, was requested..
Paulino Tumapang, Jr., the chairperson of Lang-ay Organization and the Private Sector Representative (PSR) of Mountain Province to the Regional Development Council, took the opportunity to conduct an information education campaign (IEC) on autonomy.
He shared the three (3) concerns of autonomy such as permanent identity, responsive policies, progress for all.
“We all have to be referred to as Cordillerans, governed by policies we craft and implement not dependent on imperial Manila, and direct programs and projects for the progress of all”, was the summary of the lecture of Tumapang.** Roger Sacyaten