By Luisa K. Cabato, September 10, 2022; Manila Bulletin

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) signed a memorandum of agreement with two non-government organizations to help solve the socio-economic problems of the country’s Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs).

On Friday, Sept. 9, NCIP and Kabisig ng Kalahi (KnK), an organization involved in alleviating poverty and malnutrition, formally inked the agreement which aims for the implementation of the Food Share Program where ICCs/IPs will receive rice staples and communal vegetable gardening products.

This initiative aims to address malnutrition among children as well as give livelihood opportunities to ICCs/IPs through farming.

NCIP and KnK also discussed providing the ICCs/IPs other opportunities such as weaving, traditional craft production, and granting scholarships to children with the help of KnK’s other partners and networks.

Knk also shared the desire to help in the “preservation of the rich culture, traditions, systems, and practices of the IPs,” NCIP said.

The signing of the contract was witnessed by NCIP Chairperson Allen A. Capuyan, NCIP Ethnographic Commissioner for Cordillera Administrative Region and Region I Gaspar A. Cayat, NCIP OIC-Executive Director Caesar M. Ortega, and KnK President Victoria V. Wieneke.

On the same date, NCIP also met and signed a partnership with Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines for the improvement of the ICCs/IPs’ economic status.

According to NCIP, Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines has been consistently sending assistance to the ICCs/IPs through “educational assistance, housing, livelihood, medical, and disaster relief,” among others.

Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines is an international organization known for its wide range of charity, medical, educational, and disaster relief responses across the country.

The signing of agreement was also witnessed by Capuyan, Cayat, Ortega, and Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines Deputy CEO Woon Ng.