Provincial IP representative Joel Lumis is encouraging Palawan’s municipalities to designate at least one session day every month where the native dialect of their majority tribe during the deliberation will be used.
Lumis said the proposal will help preserve the culture of indigenous peoples.
“Alam po natin sa bawat munisipyo ay may mga native dialect, katulad po ng Aborlan mga Tagbanua ang mas nakakalamang doon kaya gusto po natin na magamit nila ‘yun ganoon din po sa ibang mga munisipyo,” Lumis said.
He said that it is one way to foster the preservation, respect, promotion and protection of cultural integrity and the native languages of the different IP communities in the province.
The province of Palawan has diverse tribal groups with different native dialects such as Agutaynen, Cagayanen, Cuyunen, Molbog, Batak, Palaw’an, Tagbanua- Central, Tagbanu- Calamanen and Tagbanua- Tandulanen.
Board Member Roseller Pineda however expressed concern about the practicality of the proposal, noting that most staff of the legislative offices are not versed in other dialects apart from Tagalog or Cuyunon, which will make it hard for them to provide staff support during sessions.
“Most of our secretaries speak plain Tagalog or Cuyunon. Maganda ang intension pero maganda na mapag-aralan pa rin,” Pineda said.
Board Member David Ponce de Leon supported the resolution of Lumis and said the LGUs should take over the implementation during their session and preparing the minutes of sessions would not be a problem.
“Sila na dapat ang gagawa nun kasi it is good for the municipality kasi ipinapakita nito na malakas pa din ang native dialects natin sa bawat munisipyo, dapat hindi na natin isipin ang mga ganoong problema lalo na kung makabubuti naman ‘to,” Ponce de Leon said.
NGO lawyer Atty. Girlie De Guzman of Tanggapang Panlegal ng Katutubong Pilipino (PANLIPI), endorsed Lumis’ proposal, saying it will help in the preservation of the native culture and address the discrimination being suffered by IP communities.
“Mababawasan ang discrimination at magagamit ang native dialects. Dapat ganoon mas maappreciate nila at baka di kalaunan ay hiramin pa nila,” she said.