“Panahon na po para matuto tayo ng katutubong kaalaman mula sa inyo at mula sa inyong naisalin mula sa iba’t ibang henerasyon (It is about time for us to learn about indigenous knowledge from you and from the series of transitions that these pieces of knowledge have gone through generations),” Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro said before 5,000 Gingoog residents, mostly indigenous people of upland villages, during the “serbisyo caravan” held at mountainous barangay Kalipay of Gingoog City.
Luistro said that learning about katutubong kaalaman is about partnering and engaging with lumad leaders, even those situated in the farthest places, and pursuing Indigenous People Education (IPEd), through collecting documentation of ethnic stories, songs and rituals, and further sharing these as important tools for cultural exchange, one act of constant effort to better understand and value indigenous culture in education.
He also shared that the administration under President Benigno Aquino III is dreaming of bringing government services closer to people even to the farthest island of the country. The “serbisyo caravan” which Luistro keynoted, is one initiative to ensure that government services are accessible to communities in remote places.
“Isa po sa pamayanang ito ang mga katutubong komunidad o mga Lumad (One of these settlements are IP communities),” Luistro addressed to IPs present. Higaonons from barangays Kalipay, Eureka, Sangalan, Kamanikan, Dinawehan, Kianlagan, San Jose, Malibud, Tagpako and Talon showed participation in the event.
“Kasama din sa mga pangarap para sa susunod na mga araw, buwan, taon o lalong-lalo na sa susunod na mga henerasyon na ang baril ay hindi na gagamitin sa pakikipaglaban sa bawat isa (Part also of this dream for the coming days, months, years or more importantly, in the next generations is that guns would not be used anymore in fighting against each other),” he said.
Luistro stressed that the delivery of health, peace, education and livelihood services among these communities are keys in ending disputes and achieving lasting peace.
Likewise, guns will be turned into books, health delivery instruments and tools in improving livelihood of the people.
Furthermore, this caravan is served as venue in creating access for people to avail basic services, encouraging them to leave lethal conflicts.
The “serbisyo caravan” converged different agencies including Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Department of Education (DepEd) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
The convergence of services was spearheaded by Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and in collaboration with local government unit of Gingoog City. It is the fifth and last “serbisyo caravan” to be conducted under Aquino administration. (IJBD/PIA10)