MOALBOAL Mayor Inocentes Cabaron clarified that there are no indigenous people in the southwestern municipality.
In a press conference yesterday, Cabaron questioned the claims of the Native Original Settlers of Moalboal Island Hopping Mobile Boat Operators and Crew Association that they are members of the indigenous group Tribu Pinatikan in Moalboal.
“They are claiming that they belong to an indigenous group of people called Tribu Pinatikan. Nakuratan ko kay naa diay tribu sa Moalboal diay (I was surprised to find out that there was a tribe in Moalboal),” Cabaron said. Town officials sought help from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, which had a list of indigenous groups in the country, but “Tribu Pinatikan is not on their list.”
Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito “Boboi” Costas said that the Capitol also received a letter from the Malacañang Complaint Center last year about pumpboat operators who claimed to be indigenous people from Moalboal and who asked for an exemption from paying environmental fees.
Costas said that Capitol officials met with the group last Dec. 27 and Jan. 9, and they arranged for a dialogue to shed light on the matter.
Cabaron said that the group was composed of people who had asked the Maritime Industry Authority for permits to operate pumpboats for tourists, but were denied. (Rolyn May Jumao-as, USJR Intern)