The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) conducted inter-agency visit and consultation with the indigenous peoples (IPs) in Davao de Oro town of Maragusan on Tuesday.
In a statement, the provincial government of Davao de Oro said the consultation aims to address the “issues and concerns” of the tribal communities in the area.
The provincial government noted that IPs are among the vulnerable sectors in the society that need government attention.
Secretary Allen Capuyan, chairperson of the National Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), underscored the need to “establish means for full economic, social, and cultural development and empowerment among the IPs in order for them to become productive members of the community.”
“We intend to do this activity to hear your concerns for us to address your desire to end this long-standing armed conflict,” Capuyan told the IP members in Maragusan.
In the recent weeks, Capuyan said the NCIP and other government agencies have already visited 59 tribal communities in Regions 11, 12 and 13.
During the consultation, IP members were given the opportunity to also air their concerns to other national agencies.
“IPs should be given priority in government services with the provision of regular support through programs and projects,” Capuyan said.
Capuyan said the rounds of consultations with IP communities is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70, which institutionalizes the “whole-of-nation” approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.
The executive order also created a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, and directed the adoption of a national peace framework. (PNA)