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BAGUIO CITY – National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Cordillera (NCIP-CAR) will be turning over its livelihood project on gong making to Indigenous Peoples (IPs) deprived of freedom this 15th of January (Monday) at the Baguio City jail.
Said livelihood project is part of NCIP-CAR’s IP Culture Program funded by the NCIP central office initiated by the Regional Director, Atty. Roland Calde.
The NCIP-CAR gong making livelihood project came to realization when the NCIP-CAR Regional Director, after securing budget from the commission’s central office, appointed Gary Dongayao to head and come up with livelihood program that will aid the IP inmates at the Baguio City Jail.
According to Dongayao, NCIP-CAR will be joining forces with Brotherhood of Reforming Orderly and Disciplined Detainee (BRODD) in rendering said endeavor to inmates.
Considering that inmates have also families outside their cells to fend for, NCIP-CAR aspire extend its arms through the said project. “Let’s not further deprive our IP inmates which they’re already are; instead let’s extend our lending arms by helping them generate income while they await conviction”, said Calde.
Aside from the training, NCIP-CAR will likewise be handing over materials and tools to the inmates to be utilized by them for the gong making. “We hope to make this livelihood project for the IP inmates sustainable; that they will be able to sustain said project with minimal supervision coming the commission”, added Calde.
“Through this project, reintegration of IP inmates back to society will be forgiving and easy for they will be having skills which they can use to start over”, said Calde. He added that they can also likewise use these skills and knowledge which they will attain while in detention and impart the same back to their own respective community.
“Gong makers in the region are only few; very few, that IP communities would have to travel to other province to have their gongs made. We would like to revive the indigenous practice of blacksmithing which includes gong making”, said Calde.
According to Dongayao, inmates through previous Baguio City Jail Warden Inspector Elvis Luis Danglose which was continued by his successor Crispin Milad Dornagon Jr., Local Government Units (LGU) all over Baguio City together with neighboring provinces of CAR namely Abra and Mountain Province including adjacent LGUs from Viscaya, already ordered sets of gongs from the inmates.
As of this writing they have also received orders abroad coming from Cordillera organization dwelling in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Inmates will be forging two types of gongs; one will be made using the traditional material bronze while the other will be shaped using steel.
Aside from gongs, Dongayao disclosed that inmates will also crafting miniature gong keychains out of bronze to be sold as souvenirs.
Proceeds which will generated in the gong making inside the City Jail will be given to the inmates.
By Rocky Ngalob