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Subanen IP leaders convene to discuss pressing tribal issues

PAGADIAN CITY, 9 June (PIA) - Tribal leaders representing the Subanen Indigenous People (IP) communities in Region 9 convened for a two-day forum aimed at addressing a range of pressing issues affecting their tribes.

The gathering served as a platform for leaders to discuss matters concerning cultural heritage, indigenous rights, and development within ancestral domains.

Expressing their gratitude for the opportunity, Timuay Lucenio Manda shared his satisfaction with the outcome of the discussions, highlighting their focus on identifying ways to share blessings and resources with fellow IPs and establishing a collaborative approach among different ancestral domains.

The leaders also emphasized the importance of the National Summit, which they said would be very important in involving national agencies and modifying implementing rules and regulations that had unintentionally violated their cultural heritage and IP rights. They emphasized the necessity of correcting any consultation-related errors and making sure that legitimate IP leaders, represented by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)-9, were appropriately involved in decisions concerning ancestral domains.

In response to the concern raised by Timuay Braulio Anlimon regarding the quarrying activities taking place within the ancestral domain of Labangan, the leaders have taken note of the matter and have already engaged with NCIP-9 and other relevant agencies to address the issue. Timuay Anlimon appealed for increased attention to the needs of IPs and urged officials to incorporate their perspectives into development plans, as IPs in Labangan and neighboring areas had seemingly been left behind in terms of progress.

The leaders acknowledged NCIP-9's challenges, such as staffing and funding constraints, but committed to seeking assistance and supporting the agency. They emphasized the significance of safeguarding their rights as IPs and improving their communities' livelihoods in their ancestral domains.

Timuay Nanding Mudai recognizes the crucial responsibility the government has entrusted to NCIP-9 and stands united in its resolve to support and defend it. While acknowledging that NCIP-IX is not without flaws, he stressed that any deficiencies lie not with the agency itself, but potentially with certain individuals.

“Kung mawala ang NCIP, masamot mi ug kalisud (If NCIP disappears, we will have more difficulties),” he added.

The forum served as a significant platform for Subanen IP leaders to voice their concerns and find common ground with NCIP-9. The leaders emphasized the need for collaboration, the revision of laws that may negatively impact their cultural heritage, and the equitable allocation of resources for the betterment of all IPs in the Zamboanga Peninsula. (NBE/EDT/HTB/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

About the Author

Harvy Bangayan

Information Officer

Region 9

Harvy T. Bangayan earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and is now pursuing his Master's degree in Public Administration at the same institution. A music lover, he now writes news in Zamboanga del Sur and manages the PIA Zamboanga del Sur Facebook page.

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