CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) has created an Indigenous People’s Affairs Desk (IPAD) in an effort to protect the welfare and preserve the cultural heritage of the tribal communities in Northern and Central Luzon.
Officials from Nolcom and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) converged on Monday at Camp Aquino in Tarlac to jump-start the creation of the IPAD that could help fast-track coordination and facilitate efficient implementation of projects and programs to the different indigenous communities.
The creation of IPAD would also allow Nolcom to work closely with NCIP, local government units and other concerned stakeholders to address the issues of the IPs that might be exploited by the communist terrorists and their front organizations.
The Nolcom IPAD will be headed by Brig. Gen. Henry Doyaeon, the deputy commander of Nolcom and a proud member of the IP community with Ibaloi tribe ancestral lineage, having been born and raised in Benguet.
Roland Rivera, commissioner of NCIP-Region 3 (Central Luzon), lauded the Nolcom for taking the initiative, saying “the creation of the IPAD is a big step towards protecting and promoting the rights of the indigenous people and preserving our cultural heritage.”
Rivera assured that the NCIP will work closely with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to advance the well-being of the indigenous people, develop a culture of non-violence and support a progressive indigenous cultural communities.
Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., Nolcom commander, for his part, said Nolcom recognizes the important role of the indigenous people in promoting peace and development in this part of the country.
“The creation of the IP Affairs Desk is a manifestation of our unwavering commitment to protect the welfare of the indigenous people and preserve our cultural integrity,” he said in a statement.
Burgos assured that Nolcom will continue to collaborate and partner with the different government agencies and other concerned stakeholders for the implementation of programs and projects that will capacitate and empower the indigenous people and improve their living condition. (PNA)