EDGAR "Guy Indra" Hilbero, ertswhile Tourism Officer of the city government of Mabalacat, is engrossed with the development and upgrade of the Aeta tribes' living standards.
He aims to give these tribes self-determination, empowerment and restore their dignity as a homogenous people.
Focused on Bukil and Ungoy tribes, Guy works for the promotion and establishment of proper education to their children and adults within the ancestral lands and domain composed of 18,000 hectares (CADT), livelihood and healthcare programs, sanitation and nutrition, engage in reforestation projects and promote public and private sectors as well as
Local government units (LGUs) and community partnership in eco-tourism and thereby demonstrate and recognize models and best practices in community-based eco-tourism projects.
Guy works consistently for the holistic development of the Aeta tribes, in conformance with the IPRA law or the Indigenous Peoples Reform Act.
He noticed that the lands around Clark Freeport Zone have been converted into various uses and some ancestral lands disposed off, particularly in Barangay Calumpang.
It was in the time of former President Joseph Estrada that the food basket was introduced and involved Bule Baluga and Indung Luta. Ancestral lands have been declared fit for food production. These efforts however have been short-lived.
Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture cares for the upliftment of the Aeta sector, especially the marginalized farmers.
Governor Lilia G. Pineda, for her part, cares deeply for the Aeta welfare and bats for their sustained livelihood and upgrades maintenance. She has endeared herself immensely to these tribes.
* * *
Incidentally, June 15, 2018, was declared a public holiday in cooperation with our Muslim brothers in their observance of Eidl-Ftr. It was also on this day in 1991 when Mt. Pinatubo unloaded its destructive fury over Central Luzon, blanketing the area with ash and then lahar. It was the darkest episode ever for Central Luzon residents.