SOME P2.8 million in scholarship assistance were distributed to a total of 1,122 Aeta high school and college students during awarding ceremonies on Wednesday, November 27, at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center, City of San Fernando, as part of the celebration of the Indigenous People (IP) Summit.
IP leaders and elders received cash assistance and grocery packages.
The Provincial Information Office (PIO) reported that the beneficiaries came from Porac, Floridablanca, and Mabalacat towns. There were 920 high school students who received P2,500 each while 19 of the college students received P10,000 each while 36 of them got P5,000.
Some 147 IP leaders and elders were given P1,000 each.
Provincial social welfare and development officer Elizabeth Baybayan emphasized that Governor Dennis Pineda and Vice Governor Lilia P8ineda have always dreamed to see every Aeta become successful in life, which is why the provincial government has created programs and services for the benefit of the IP.
“Pangarap ni vice governor at ni governor na matulungan kayong makatapos ng pag-aaral nang sa gayon ay magkaroon kayo ng magandang kinabukasan. Kaya sana ay patuloy niyong paghusayin sa inyong pag-aaral,” Baybayan said in her message.
(The vice governor and governor’s dream is to help you finish your studies for you to have a bright future. I hope you will continue to be good in your studies)
“Nagagalak ako na malaman na marami na sa mga Aeta ang nakatuntong na ng high school at meron na ring mga nakapagtapos ng college. In fact, meron na tayong lisensyadong abogado, midwife, police, teacher at iba pa,” she added.
(I am happy to know there are a lot of Aetas who reached high school and who finished college. In fact, we already have licensed lawyers, midwife, police, teacher, etc.)
Aside from the financial and food distribution, the event also highlighted discussions on various topics delivered by speakers from different government agencies, which include Atty. John Martinez Andrada from Commission on Human Rights (CHR), who tackled Human Rights-Based Approach to Indigenous People’s Justice System; lawyer Chester Cayabas Diwas from National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) discussed the Retooling of IPRA Law and Justice System – Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Process; and lawyer Karen Lou Amuasen, Public Attorney II, from the Department of Justice (DOJ) spoke about Basic Criminal Procedures Procedure including Barangay Conciliation, according to the PIO report.