Friday, November 6, 2009

Sarangani implements continuous programs for IPs

ALABEL, Sarangani (November 6, 2009) – The Provincial Government of Sarangani has long recognized the importance of the Indigenous People (IPs) in the province thus, programs and initiatives were taken up in order to further boost not only their way of living, but also preserve their cultural heritage.

In his statement, Vice Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon asserted that a lot of programs have been conducted for IPs for the past years.

"Andami na naming programs sa IPs. Isa, meron na tayong university, a venture with MSU sa Malandag just for the IPs. We already have 47 scholars, nag-start na sila nung June to get their degree in education, so we created a school in Sarangani Province specifically for the IPs," Solon said.

He added that the provincial government has established the Indigenous People's Development Program (IPDP), a special unit under the Provincial Governor's Office that helps and protects the rights of the IPs in the province. It is also responsible for making programs for IPs such as livelihood assistance, and others.

"Meron din tayong Haggai Project na directly for the IPs, so imposible na hindi namin pinansin yung mga IPs kasi sa tingin namin ni Gov. Migs, we are all equal," he said.

Solon pointed out that Governor Migs Dominguez is implementing continuous projects for IPs' development. The governor's office even funded projects in the IP communities through the IPDP on School of Living Tradition (SLT).

Sarangani Province has at least four SLTs for the Blaan in Lamlifew; the Tagakaolo in Malungon town; the Blaan mat weavers in Malapatan; and the Tboli brass casting and basketry in Kiamba.

SLTs enable the tribe to value their culture and tradition. According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the province models the country's SLTs. This only means that there is a strong support from the provincial government in developing SLTs in the IP communities. (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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