BINALBAGAN, Negros Occ., Aug. 12 (PIA6)—A public official here is calling for the proper recognition of Indigenous People and to give full support to their needs.
Binalbagan Mayor Emmanuel Aranda said they consider IPs in the town as mainstream residents and are considered brothers in Christ, during a press conference for the town’s hosting of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples last August 9 at the Municipal Covered Court.
About 3,000 IPs attended the activity coming from the different provinces of Region VI.
He said about 1,000 IPs are either on scholarship or receiving support from the municipal government.
Aranda said they also provide livelihood and employment program. IPs are members of the town’s ‘Bantay Bukid,’ he added.
With the support the town is giving, he encouraged them to adopt effective and modern ways of living to make their projects sustainable while holding on to their culture.
According to IP coordinator Pablito Gonzales, IPs in the southern Negros Occ. have been formally organized since 2014 having an estimated population of 153,000 Indigenous Persons mostly belonging to the Ati and Bukidnon tribe.
There are 47 community-based IP organizations and 25 community-based chapters of IP youths- all under the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in Southern Negros Occ.(CIPOSNO), headed by Kalayan (supreme chief) Jonathan Camanso.
The activity brings to fore the recognition of the rights of the IPs from biocultural diversity, ancestral domain, environment, livelihood, education, Gender and Development and sustainable development. (JCM/Lljr-PIA6)