DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte is set to create a lumads and Muslim group called Indigenous People's and Muslims Affairs Council (Ipmac).
Duterte said the idea of combining separate councils for indigenous peoples and Muslims have received positive responses from both sectors.
"We have drafted the executive order for this. Actually gusto nila nga isahon na lang (they want to have just one office). Pinaagi niining one office diri na tanan i-discuss and ilahang mga concerns ug mas klaro pud ang pag-set ug attention sa ilaha (Through this combined office we would discuss all of their concerns and this would make things more clear in terms of giving them attention)" Duterte said in a press conference.
Duterte said she does not see any conflict of interest in running the said office.
"Nagsabot na mi nga the council will synchronize kung magmeeting mi (We have talked on how to synchronize our meetings.) The first sector will go first, then we will meet in the middle for the two sectors, and the other sector will come after. I told them ma-bore man pud na sila magsigig paminaw sa concern sa isa kay di man na ilaha (they'd get bored listening to the other since it does not involve them) since different ang orientation and culture nila" Duterte said.
The city mayor said among the things they would discuss under Ipmac would be her plan to fund medicinal or law post-graduate courses for one representative of the city's ten Muslim and Lumad tribes each year.
In line with her prioritization of education, she is in the process of expanding the capacity of the city's scholarship program to specifically cater to the improvement and education of the Muslim and Lumad tribes of the city.
"This will be a scholarship program for recognized Muslim and Lumad. There would be two post graduate programs where scholars can choose from law or medicine. We're coming up with policies for that but by next year perhaps we could already send some to school," Duterte said in an earlier statement.
Duterte added that she plans to promote agro-forestry among the lumads in the uplands of the city and to continue ongoing programs for the Muslims.
"For both, we would prioritize education sa ilang mga bata (for their children) and emphasis to preserve the culture, dili lang limited sa dialect, pati sa pagsanina, traditions, beliefs (not limited to their dialect but also in their clothing, traditions, and beliefs), which makes them unique and which they should be proud of," Duterte said. (Jade C. Zaldivar)