The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) organized an Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign for Indigenous Peoples (IP) representatives and leaders of Sitio Buong, Brgy. Dumangueña, Narra, Palawan last October 30, 2021.
The IEC activity entailed discussions on the salient provisions of Republic Act 7611, popularly known as the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan Act, RA 9147 (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act), RA 9175 (Chainsaw Act), and RA 9072 (Caves Act).
Ms. Merlinda Hilario, the PCSD Primary Focal person for IPs/Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) concerns, shared the program of the PCSDS for the IPs, which was one of the highlights of the activity. In the aforementioned discussion, the participants expressed concern about the status of their tribal ancestral lands, claiming that an increasing group of “Diwans” (lowlanders) visit their places and exploit resources without legal permits. Ms. Hilario then inquired about the whereabouts of the community’s previous tribal members, who she had learned had passed away. As a result, Ms. Hilario asked if a separate meeting could be held to update the status and/or data of Sitio Buong’s ancestral domain claims, which had been agreed upon by the community.
It is worth noting that the IP attendees were actively engaged as they sought clarification on the status of their Ancestral Land claims.
The event concluded with the IP leaders and representatives agreeing to work together to resolve the conflict over the status of their tribal ancestral lands.
National Indigenous Peoples’ Month is celebrated each October of each year. The PCSDS recognizes the role and contributions of the IP community in the rich culture and heritage of our nation. Hence, the agency joins the IP community in celebrating this occasion tailor-made for them, and it continues to advocate for tribal peoples’ protection and the preservation of their culture for future generations.