NAPC Consultation Forum with Indigenous Peoples
National Anti-Poverty Commission conducted a Consultation Forum with Indigenous Peoples camped at Sitio Sandugo, University of the Philippines Diliman on September 20, 2017. Kerlan Fanagel, Secretary General of PASAKA Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao Region, discussed the concerns of Lumad cultural communities in Mindanao such as the effect of war in the education of Lumad children and youth; the extra-judicial killings and human rights violations experienced by the communities, and the grabbing or land conversions in Lumad ancestral domains and territories. Jehad Mohammad, Spokesperson of Sandugo Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination also shared the worst human rights situation and Islamophobia experienced by Moro people due to the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. In her response, NAPC Executive Assistant Marilou Pascual mentioned NAPC's commitment to strengthen the basic sectors by pushing forth their demands through policy resolutions and initiating dialogues with concerned agencies and institutions. She also mentioned that NAPC is strengthening its mechanisms for people's participation in governance and development through the NAPC Action Center, Partnerships for Change, Mindanao Support Operation, and Kilos SAMBAYANAN, a strategic campaign for the fulfillment of the 10 basic needs of the people that include food and land reform, education, and peace. Ron Papag, Focal Staff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development also responded that the agency considers the people's participation as pivotal in achieving reforms in the implementation of social services. Members from the B'laan Lumad Cultural Community rendered a solidarity and thanksgiving dance in the said activity.