ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal, Nov. 22 (PIA) — It is important to bring the government to different indigenous people communities in the country through convergences of different agencies said Eddielito Sumangil, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) – 4A planning officer.
An example of the said convergences include the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Land Registration Authority and NCIP’s joint agreements in issuance of Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT) which recently assured indigenous communities in Tanay and Rodriguez, Rizal of their ancestral lands. The interagency body is in charge of surveying and collecting data on ancestral lands before officially distributing land titles to IPs.
NCIP is also coordinating with the DAR, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Public Works and Highways in terms of infrastructure due to the need for farm to market roads in far flung areas of the IP communities. In terms of education, most IPs attend local schools.
In line with the upcoming 2013 elections, NCIP has also coordinated with the Commission on Elections for the indigenous communities to ensure proper information during the election season.
“We are currently conducting IEC campaigns to make sure that indigenous communities will not be ‘used’ during the upcoming elections,” said Sumangil.
The campaigns explained the importance of elections to IPs of voting age in order to prevent vote buying or any form of bribery of indigenous people. According to him, NCIP also believes that indigenous people should also have seats in congress in order to create laws communities which are also applicable to their respective needs and cultures.
Sumangil was guest at the recently concluded PIA Talakayan sa SM at SM City Taytay, Taytay, Rizal, November 15 together with NCIP-4A Community Development Officer Jennifer Gerones and local tribal chieftain Virgilia Arbolado.(GG-PIA4A)