Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sarangani celebrates IP month

ALABEL, Sarangani (October 30, 2011) – Sarangani celebrated Indigenous Peoples (IPs) Month this year purposely to recognize, protect and promote the rights of IPs within the agenda of national unity and development in relation to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (RA 8371).

The celebration recognized particularly cultural artist achievers, IP outstanding teachers, and the partners of Sarangani Province in its IP program for their contribution to the continuing advocacy on the preservation and promotion of indigenous knowledge system, technology and best practices of the Sarangani IPs.

Annalie Edday, a pure-blooded Blaan who spearheads Quality Education for Sarangani Today as program manager, was among the awardees.

The office of the Indigenous People’s Development Program (IPDP) explained Edday was awarded being an IP professional “who enthusiastically and genuinely inclined to bring value and larger positive impact to her fellow Blaans by engaging herself in bringing quality in the uplands wherein IPs reside.”

In 2008, Edday was among the youth representatives of the Philippines to the International Youth Forum conducted by the Initiatives of Change in Indonesia.

In 2009, she underwent five-week leadership training in the United States being one of the top three Young Mindanao Leaders chosen by the US Department of State. In the same year, she represented the Philippines in the International Youth Exchange Program in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Edday is again one of the top nine young leaders of the country as conferred by Asia Society to represent the Philippines to the International Summit in New Delhi, India next month.

Edday challenged her tribe “to encourage more leaders and advocates and to encourage as well children to be proud being IPs.”

“We do look forward that from now on wala nay batang IPs nga mangayo ug bugas, wala nay tigulang nga mamatay nalang sa sakit nga wala nakatilaw ug paracetamol, ug wala nay IPs nga dili atimanon sa mga ospital (there will no more be IP children who will beg for rice, no more old and sick IP who will die eventually without having to experience medication even taking paracetamol, and no more IPs brought to hospitals unattended),” Edday hoped as she lamented the plight of her tribe.

“Everyone of us has a right to quality of life. Let us stand up to put integrity for our tribe,” she said.

The event on Friday (October 28) dubbed as “National Indigenous Peoples Thanksgiving Day” was in partnership with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Provincial Tribal Council (PTC) pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 1906 issued in 2009 declaring October as the Indigenous Peoples' Month.

This celebration comes with a manifesto of support from the Sarangani Indigenous Peoples Professionals Association, Inc., PTC, tribal elders, ministers, women, and youth, IP elected officials and mandatory representatives, local government officials, and non-government organizations pursuant to the mandate of the Philippine Constitution and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997.

As stated in the manifesto, it “faithfully and conscientiously recognize, promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities, IPs to their ancestral lands, rights to self-governance and empowerment, rights to social justice and human rights and cultural integrity to ensure social and cultural integrity.”

It also committed “to support and bear the faith to preserve our (IP) customary laws, traditional rights, peace building mechanism and processes, compatible with the framework of national unity and development.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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