THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Negros Oriental registered several individuals from the Bukidnon tribe in Canlaon City on Thursday in celebration of Indigenous People’s (IPs) month this October.
“We were invited to join the celebration as PSA is also celebrating National Statistics Month this month and we are taking the opportunity to register the IPs as many of them cannot read and write,” Engr. Ariel Fortuito, PSA-Negros Oriental chief, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
“The registration and issuance of a birth certificate for the IPs is for free and this is a very good opportunity for them as they no longer need to travel to Dumaguete City for this,” Fortuito said.
Canlaon City is a mountain city about a five-hour drive north of this provincial capital.
Earlier in the day, the PSA conducted a lecture on the importance of registration for IPs to be duly recognized citizens of the country and for legal and other official transactions.
As of posting time, the consolidated report of the registered IPs has yet to be released.
Meanwhile, the National Commission on Indigenous People’s (NCIP) lined up a series of activities across the province to celebrate the 26th anniversary.
NCIP-Negros Oriental provincial head Virginia Espante said that the agency is coordinating with local government units where there is the presence of IPs for the holding of activities.
These would include celebrations scheduled in Mabinay and Bayawan City.
In Canlaon City, the Bukidnon and Ata tribes are found in Barangays Lumapao, Masulog, Malaiba, and Pula.
Espante said the NCIP continues to campaign for the LGUs where ICCs/IPs are located to grant them representation in the local legislative councils.
The Canlaon City LGU is expected to act on the matter once this has been discussed together with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, she added. (PNA)