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MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government recently established an indigenous peoples (IP) desk in recognition of the need to sustain the fulfilment of their rights and recognise their contribution to the overall growth and development of the municipality.
Mayor Frenzel Ayong said that initially, the IP desk will occupy the same office where the pocket miner’s desk was established at the third floor of the municipal hall building while awaiting actions on the proposed establishment of an IP office in the municipality.
Mankayan is among the few local governments in the country that celebrated the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (IDWIP) that was given mandate by presidential issuance several years ago.
The municipal mayor narrated that during the celebration of the IDWIP in the locality last week, the elders from the different barangays were instrumental in the successful conduct of the activity by providing the younger generations with the stories on the town’s rich history and the importance of being able to pass on to the present and future generations the culture and traditions they have nurtured as passed on to them by their ancestors.
“We are grateful to our elders who took time to interact with the younger generations and empowered them to help in preserving and protecting our rich culture and traditions as well as our history so that the coming generations will know who they are and enjoy the fruits of a well preserved culture,” Mayor Ayong stressed.
The municipal chief executive pointed out that lessons learned from the interaction with the tribal elders will be used by the municipal government to update the town’s history that was published in the centennial yearbook and to continue to document important events and activities of the municipality worthy of being passed on to the next generations.
In 1994, the United Nations declared every August 9 as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in recognition of the indigenous peoples that have existed in the different parts of the global village and to create awareness on the protection and promotion of their rights.
According to him, the municipal government will continue to partner with the different indigenous peoples from the different barangays in the crafting of the appropriate programs and projects geared towards aggressively advancing the interest and rights of the indigenous peoples not only in the municipality but also in the province and the region as a whole.
He stated that the municipal government gave importance to the tribal elders in running the show during the celebration of the IDWIP in the municipality because the same was dedicated to them and that they are the ones who are fully aware of the rich history, culture and traditions of their peoples that need to be passed on to the upcoming generations from the different parts of the municipality.
The municipal mayor rallied all concerned stakeholders to continue extending their all-out support to the various programs, projects and activities that have been conducted and will be spearheaded and implemented to continue empowering the present and future generations of indigenous peoples to learn to trace their roots and value their history, culture and traditions. By HENT