1,122 IP receive 2.8M cash assistance

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – A total of 1,122 Aeta high school and college students, leaders, and elders received cash assistance and grocery package during the Indigenous People (IP) Summit on Wednesday, November 27, at Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center, here.

The distribution was spearheaded by the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO), led by Ms. Elizabeth G. Baybayin, together with other provincial departments.

All beneficiaries were from the towns of Porac, Floridablanca, and Mabalacat wherein some 920 high school students received P2,500 each, 19 of the college students received P10,000 while 36 of them got P5,000, and 147 IP leaders and elders were given P1,000 each, which amassed to 2.8 million pesos.

Ms. Elizabeth Baybayin emphasized that Governor Delta and Vice Governor Nanay have always dreamed to see every Aeta become successful in life, which is why the provincial government has created programs and services for the benefit of the IP.

“Pangarap ni Nanay Gov at ni Governor na matulungan kayong makatapos ng pag-aaral nang sa gayon ay magkaroon kayo ng magandang kinabukasan. Kaya sana ay patuloy niyong paghusayin sa inyong pag-aaral,” Baybayin said in her message.

“Nagagalak ako na malaman na marami na sa mga Aeta ang nakatuntong na ng high school at meron na ring mga nakapagtapos ng college. In fact, meron na tayong lisensyadong abogado, midwife, police, teacher at iba pa,” she added.

Aside from the financial and food distribution, the event also highlighted discussions on various topics delivered by speakers from different government agencies, which include Atty. John Martinez Andrada from Commission on Human Rights (CHR), who tackled Human Rights-Based Approach to Indigenous People’s Justice System; Atty. Chester Cayabas Diwas from National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) discussed the Retooling of IPRA Law and Justice System – Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Process; and Atty. Karen Lou Amuasen, Public Attorney II, from the Department of Justice (DOJ) spoke about Basic Criminal Procedures Procedure including Barangay Conciliation.

Also invited to speak in the event were LTC Felix Emeterio M. Valdez, Commanding Officer 48th Infantry Batallion from Arm Forces of the Philippines (AFP), who discussed the Indigenous People Infiltration; PLTCol. Dangal Pasamba Masigla from Pampanga Provincial Police Office (PPPO) tackled the Environmental Laws; lastly, Mr. Eduardo D. Cusipag from Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) Porac talked about the DHVSU Center for Indigenous Education.

These topics aimed to further educate the Aetas on their rights, the law and justice system, indigenous education and other matters that affect their lives as members of the indigenous community.

The summit for IP was also graced by Board Member Fritzie Dizon, Board Member Benjamin Jocson, and IPMRs of Porac and Mabalacat.

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