THE National Commission on Indigenous People called on the Cordilleran’s to help re-educate the Filipinos in what an Igorot and Cordillera is.
NCIP CAR Director Atty. Roland Calde during the opening of the celebration of the Indigenous People’s month explained Igorots continue to encounter discrimination due to the wrong portrayal in textbooks, art work and films.
“As much as we respect the interpretation and the artistic view of some, there are still cultural insensitivity on the issue much more when it is viewed publicly to tourist which does not have any disclaimer,” Calde said.
The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) recently passed a joint resolution strongly condemning the erroneous portrayal of IPs) in textbooks and instructional materials which had been circulated in the different parts of the country.
The joint resolution directed the Cordillera office of the NCIP-CAR to coordinate with the authors of the textbooks and instructional materials that reportedly erroneously portrayed the IPs for them to voluntary withdraw the said books and materials from circulation and to make the appropriate corrections before authorizing the circulation of the same.
The NCIP-CAR was also tasked to study the possibility of filing the appropriate civil case against the authors of the books and instructional materials for them to answer for their erroneous portrayal of the IPs.
Both policy-making bodies expressed fear that if the erroneous information in textbooks and instructional materials are not immediately corrected, erroneous notion of mainstream Filipinos about IPs, especially Cordillerans or Igorots, will be perpetuated and may result to further discrimination and abuse.
“We want to re-educate the people on their understanding of what an Igorot is because historically, their conception of the Igorots and Cordilleran’s are those ignorant and poor, aside from them not being able to define or differentiate what Indigenous and indigent is, they think it’s synonymous,” Calde added.
Earlier, the DepEd-CAR explained that while its Bureau of Learning Resources has established mechanisms and processes to assure the quality of learning resources are issued to public schools, it does not have control over private publishers that sell textbooks and supplementary learning materials to private schools in the different parts of the country.
NCIP CAR is now studying the possibility of filing libel cases against publishers who have erroneously portrayed the igorots since the element of libel are present.
During his stint as Congressman of Mountain Province, then Representative Maximo Dalog have reiterated to the national government in exercising the use of factual information in depicting and presenting the igorots under existing republic acts pertaining to this matter.
Under Republic Act No. 10086, it provides mechanism to determine and correct the factual matters relating to Philippine history and stated specifically under Sec. 5 (e) “to actively engage in the settlement or resolution of controversies or issues relative to historical personages, places, dates and events” and to (p) conduct public hearings and ocular inspections or initiate factual investigations with respect to disputed historical issues for the purpose of declaring official historical dates, places, personages, and events.