MANILA – Learning the foundations of our culture, preserved by our indigeonous communities, can lead to discovering and enriching our identity as Filipinos, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Friday.
During the weekly episode of the Cabinet Report, Secretary Andanar highlighted how the Indigenous People have lived through times in self-governance along with respecting the environment. He noted that this pandemic allowed everyone to reflect.
“Nitong panahon ng pandemya, napapanahon din ang introspection o pagsisiyasat ng sarili. Pre-pandemic, we were fascinated with the far away. Ngayong medyo limitado ang mga galaw natin napipilitan tayong tingnan ang mga nasa malapit, ang nandirito na, ang nasa sarili natin [This pandemic is a time for us to do introspection. Pre-pandemic, we were fascinated with the far away. Now that our movements are limited, we are forced to look at what’s nearer, what’s within ourselves],” he said.
Along with the observance of the National Indigenous Peoples Day in the country, Secretary Andanar encouraged Filipinos to reflect on the importance of the sector on the personal and cultural identity of Filipinos.
“Madalas ang nakikita natin sa ating mga kababayan at kapatid na katutubo ay ang mga pagkakaiba natin sa anyo, sa pananalita at sa pamumuhay. Ngunit sana makita rin natin na sila ay mga tagapagmana at tagapangalaga ng kasaysayan ng kaalaman at ng mga katotohanang bahagi ng kabuuan ng ating pagkatao bilang Pilipino [We often see our indigenous brothers and sisters differ in language and lifestyle. However, I hope we can also see that they are heirs and protectors of our history and the truth behind which constitutes our identity as Filipinos],” he said.
“Sa ating introspection o pagsisiyasat ng sarili, alamin natin ang maibabahagi sa atin ng ating mga kababayang katutubo. Magiging mas mayaman, mas buo, at mas ganap ang ating pagka-Pilipino kapag nakilala natin ng lubos ang ating mga kababayang katutubo [In our introspection or reflection among ourselves, let’s unravel how they have contributed to us. We will become more enriched, more whole, and identify ourselves more as Filipinos as we get to know them],” he added.
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chairperson Secretary Allen Capuyan sat as a guest during the episode of the Cabinet Report where he referred to IPs as development partners of the government.
He discussed how the communities are encouraged to exercise their rights in their ancestral domains, while keeping their doors open for opportunities of development by external groups. This is under the policies on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and the exercise of priority rights (EPR).
“We emphasize the fact that the Indigenous Peoples are our development partners, they are not our clients. Primarily because the tribal community has self-governance. They have their own justice system and customary laws that have to be preserved. So we approach them, listening to their narrative. And now we are supporting them in strengthening their self-governance,” Secretary Capuyan said.