NCIP Tarlac QuaranStories Abellen Indigenous Leadership in Time of Crisis
A month after Mr. Victor Valantin was seated as Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the Sangguniang Bayan of Capas, Tarlac, he immediately encountered a huge task that will challenge his commitment in serving his people.
The declaration of community quarantine in the Municipality of Capas, Tarlac has affected the daily life of our Indigenous Peoples (IPs) including the Abellen. It affected their food production, availability, access, and stability for the past 8 weeks. To hasten the delivery of needed food, goods, and services, the LGU of Capas entrusted an amount of 45,000 pesos to IPMR Valantin, a proud Abellen IP. The fund was used to buy food supplies for IP households and other needs of IP front liners manning checkpoints and securing the communities. Throughout the ECQ, IPMR Valantin tirelessly coordinated with the local NCIP, IP front liners, donors, and community leaders to ensure orderly and organized distribution of assistance to every Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs).
The immediate concern is to unify the 19 IP Sitios of Capas, represented by their Chieftains, to rally behind him to ensure that no IP will be left out in the identification and distribution of goods and services by all stakeholders. IPMR Valantin’s understanding and respect of the indigenous socio-political structure of his communities were key to his leadership, a mark of a true Abellen IP!