Correction of erroneous textbooks on Igorots eyed

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BAGUIO CITY – The sub-committee of Regional Development Council Cordillera (RDC), Committee on Indigenous Peoples Concerns (CIPC), in their recently concluded third quarterly meeting last August 15, 2018, moved to craft a resolution to condemn erroneous information in textbooks on Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Cordillera, and to seek rectification of the same before the Congress.

The said erroneous information gained attention when concerned IPs posted photos of the misleading, demeaning and distorted narratives against the Igorots in the social media. Photos became viral then drew flak from the IPs throughout from CAR.

It prompted the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples – Cordillera Administrative Region (NCIP-CAR), through its Regional Director and current Chairman of CIPC Atty. Roland Calde, to include it in their meeting agenda in order to discuss the said issue. The CIPC invited the Department of Education (DepED) CAR to shed light on the issue concern which the latter accepted.

DepED-CAR Education Program Supervisor Ethielyn Taqued explained before the member institutions of CIPC that said erroneous information contained in the elementary textbooks did not go through their institution’s prescribed evaluation process.

The errors in the elementary textbooks were published by REX Bookstore, Phoenix Publishing House and Saint Mathews Publishing Corporation, all of which according to Taqued are private publishing companies.

Tanqued also explained that in order for textbooks to be endorsed by DepED, they should go through their rigorous evaluation and assessments. Should the textbooks pass their required evaluation, distinguishing marks unique to DepED-evaluated textbooks will be embedded, namely: Visible DepED Marks on the front, back and spine, Presence of DepED copyright page and, Existence of a ‘Not for sale’ mark.

“Textbooks that contained erroneous information against the Igorots did not go through the process of evaluation as prescribed by the department,” said Tanqued. She mentioned the schools who utilized the demeaning textbooks were mostly private schools which were beyond their jurisdiction.

After Tanqued’s explanation Calde pushed for crafting of a resolution which was unanimously seconded by the CIPC. “More than just condemnation, we will also ask Congress through our resolution for them possibly legislate pertinent laws giving powers to our institution to go after such perpetrators,” said Calde.

NCIP currently has Administrative Order No. 1 series of 2014. However, it is mainly geared toward IP-related researches. “If only these textbooks were validated by the community, as required in NCIP AO 1 series of 2014, erroneous information against the IPs of Cordillera would have been corrected,” he said.

Some member of the CIPC also sought for the possibility of legal suits in sanctioning publishing companies for negligence for allowing such erroneous information against the Igorot be written in their textbooks.

By Rocky Ngalob

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