NCIP COVID-19 VISIBILITY REFLECTED IN THE EYES OF IPMRS AND TRIBAL LEADERS
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the lead agency of the National Government in promoting and protecting the rights and welfare of the Indigenous Peoples/Indigenous Cultural Communities was not identified as one among the list of FRONTLINERS to respond to the onslaught of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The organic staff were confined at home under the “Work from Home” Scheme, a VERY CHALLENGING situation to respond to the needs of IPs/ICCs.
The presence of Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) scattered in the region occupying the three layers of legislative bodies of the Provinces namely Provincial Board, Municipal/City Councils and Barangay Councils responded to the challenging situation. The IPMRs and Tribal Leaders took the cudgels for NCIP work forces connecting the Office with the IP Communities in their Ancestral Territories, coordinating with the various LGUs in their respective communities for relief (food packs) and financial assistance i.e. Social Amelioration Program , intended to ensure the safety of their IP constituents. In some areas they spearheaded relief operations from the LGU they represent and sometimes reach out to their own pockets to augment the needed food assistance.
Acting as the Provincial, Municipal and Barangay link of NCIP to the LGU, at the end of the day they shared their activities to NCIP-R3 in a feedback mechanism thru social media that provides NCIP staff a clear perspective of what is happening in the IP Ancestral Areas. NCIP Staff under “Work from Home” collates, process all informations received from the IPMRs and IP Leaders and package into Documentary Reports. NCIP R3 found connectivity to the Ancestral Domain through the active involvement of IPMRs and Tribal Leaders has proven the significant role of IPMRs/Tribal Leaders in responding to this National Health Emergency.
These Efforts of the IPMRs and Tribal Leaders is in addition to NCIP Staff who volunteered as frontliners in their Areas notwithstanding the risk of contracting the Corona Virus.
MABUHAY IPMRs and TRIBAL LEADERS OF NCIP R3.