DAVAO CITY, Oct. 28 (PIA) – The indigenous peoples’ leaders from various tribes in the region will be heading on Wednesday (Oct. 29) an hour of prayer here to culminate the IPs Rights Act (IPRA) Month which will be held simultaneously in other parts of the country.
The IPRA Hour highlights the IPs prayer rites to take place from 6:00
am to 7:00 am on October 29 within the Bagobo-Tagabawa ancestral domain
in Barangay Eden, Toril, Davao City, which is believed to be the
dwelling place of the lumad’s great grandparent Apo Sandawa.
Some 60 leaders and members of various IP organizations and
representatives of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
regional and provincial offices in Davao Region are expected to converge
this evening at the ancestral land for some preliminary activities.
The IP leaders, IP women and youth representatives will also share
their messages after the prayer, NCIP regional director Dr. Lilibeth U.
Desabilla-Malabanan said in a press conference today.
Also marking the IPRA hour is the reading of messages from a bottle
of oil or lana in the vernacular after a “Lanahan” ritual which is part
of the Bagobo-Tagabawa beliefs. “Only a chosen few can read the messages
from the bottle of oil,” stated IP women leader Bae Sonia D. Mangune.
Malabanan said this year’s celebration, bannering the theme “IPRA: A
ray of hope in regaining IPs’ cultural identity,” emphasizes on the
importance of the government’s efforts in protecting and promoting the
rights of the IPs through the implementation of IPRA.
“It is aimed at reliving part of history that had shown bravery and
dedication of the indigenous peoples’ for peace and freedom,” she
stated, adding that the IPRA has strengthened the rights and has given
powers to the IPs. “The IPs are not anymore a burden but are partners in
development,” Malabanan added.
She cited the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition Needs
program of NCIP for the IPs in Mindanao as one significant project
which is being pursued “not only for the health rights of the IP women
and children but also for the cultural identity and integrity of the IPs
“By addressing the maternal, neonatal and
child health and nutrition needs of the IP women and children, we have
come to understand the underlying issues of IP culture and the need for
culturally sensitive service delivery programs,” stated Malabanan who is
project director of the IP MNCHN program funded by the European Union
Another NCIP program is the PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan)
project that “helps in the development of the Ancestral Domain
Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) of various
ancestral domains in the country.”
Malabanan said that the PAMANA project is currently funding the
processing of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT) involving
240,000 hectares of ancestral lands in the region. Presently, there are
781,000-hectare areas with approved CADTs regionwide, she added.
Davao Region is home to various tribes such as the Bagobo-Tagabawa,
Klata, Ubo-Manobo, Matigsalog, Ata-Manobo, Dibabawon, Mansaka, Mandaya,
Sama, Klagan, B’Laan, Tagacaolo and Manobo. (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)