Regional Consultative Meeting on Indigenous Peoples Held

Consultative meeting on Indigenous Peoples with Center Director Rogelio Evangelista (photo by Sherwin Dannog)

Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan - The ATI-RTC 1 and the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) called for a meeting last July 18-19, 2013 which was attended by fifteen (15) IP leaders and focal persons in the region. This activity aimed to: 1) set strategies to strengthen their organizations; and 2) formulate plans and programs of regional federation in support to Food Staple Sufficiency Program (FSSP).

There is a need for organizational strengthening of IPs to have more unified and collective efforts that will build stronger organizational power. This initiative, therefore, would set a better understanding and direction for the IP organizations.

During the meeting, the group decided to elect officers for the Region 1 Indigenous People Rural Based Organization (IP-RBO). They were: Mr. Inocencio G. Carganilla the Regional Federated President; Mr. Nolencio C. Barcena, Vice President and Ilocos Sur Representative; Mr. Fernando R. Dawawa, Secretary and Pangasinan Representative; Ms. Marilou S. Gaoaen, treasurer; Mr. Danilo D. Sumabat, Jr., Auditor; Mr. Danny R. Pacyaan, PIO and Ilocos Norte Representative; Ms. Edith L. Manogan, Busines Manager; and Mr. Danny P. Padaso, La Union Representative.

One output of the meeting was the affiliation of the IP as IP-RBO as a whole, IP-4H for the youth, IP-RIC for the woman, IP-P4MP for the different sector of agriculture and fishery. Another output was an action plan that would support FSSP, to include: 1) conduct trainings on organic farming; 2) reorganization of the IP with their new affiliation from provincial down to barangay levels; and 3) submit enrolment of members and officers.

“IP as a marginalized group can contribute to the success of FSSP”, according to Abraham B. Agcaoili of Ilocos Norte. This statement shows that IPs in the region are determined to unite in order to support the different advocacy of ATI and NCIP. Also, Ms. Josephine Guquingan, the Regional NCIP Focal Person said that “Cooperation among the participants and support from the ATI-RTC 1 ay mahalaga sa mga IPs at makasama sa mga benefit na ipinamahagi ng DA thru ATI. Mahalagang nalaman namin ang importance ng FSSP ng ating gobyerno at mahalaga ito sa ating mamayan”.

Good coordination will certainly boost the morale of our IPs to be organized as one. Giving importance to the grassroots of the community is a better way to develop marginalized people to improve their quality of life.