Indigenous community leaders have taken advantage of their participation in the ongoing Baragatan celebrations to air their concern about lack of government support to their sector.
Artemio Alis, a Tagbanua leader from Iraan, Aborlan, said during a break from one of the events, a Tribal Olympics hosted by the Western Command, that government’s efforts to assist the marginalized IP communities were inadequate.
“May binibigay sila pero kulang na kulang,” Alis told Palawan News.
He observed that the government projects are not enough to sustain their basic needs such as health, livelihood, and education.
Juanito Pandaño of the Batak Tribe in Tagumpay Roxas Palawan said they are heavily relying on government help for their health needs.
“Sana mabigyan kami ng gamot kasi siyempre may nagkakasakit din sa amin kaso wala din kaming pera,” said Pandaño.
Reacting to the leaders’ concern, Roldan Parangue, Provincial Officer for the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), said their office is ready to respond to the needs of the IPs through livelihood assistance.
He added however that their capacity is limited to their small budget allocation amounting to only Php500,000 each year.
“Yung mga tribes lang na napupuntahan namin ‘yung may alam sa mga project pero ‘yung hindi, siyempre ‘di nila alam kaya hindi sila nakakahingi ng tulong,” said Parangue.