OROQUIETA CITY – Cognizant of the key roles of indigenous people (IPs) in the whole-of-nation approach to attain inclusive and sustainable peace, the Misamis Occidental Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee and the DILG Misamis Occidental Field Office recently met with the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) at Camp Burgos, Oroquieta City to finalize the plans for the upcoming IP Summit in the province.
DILG Misamis Occidental Provincial Director Pablio Benitez, Jr. said that over 100 IP members have confirmed to join the IP summit, a breakthrough event in the national government’s massive quest of ending the local communist armed conflict.
“Only by addressing the root cause of problems can sustainable peace be achieved,” Benitez said.
The said IPMR meeting highlighted the implementation of Executive Order Number 70 “institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace” and the role of frontline groups such as the IP sector.
Also showcased during the meeting were the different programs of invited government agencies that the IP groups can avail.
According to Benitez, the meeting achieved a key milestone as IPMRs from all groups and towns in the province committed to serve as key consultants during the upcoming IP summit.
Misamis Occidental is home to a considerable population of the Subanen, the tribal group indigenous to the Zamboanga peninsula area particularly living in the rural areas between Zamboanga del Sur and Misamis Occidental. IP groups are considered most vulnerable and prone to recruitment from leftists according to the AFP.
The government has since then addressed this issue through the E-CLIP implemented by provincial government units with funding and monitoring through the DILG. The E-CLIP provides reintegration activities and livelihood assistance to former rebels who have surrendered to local authorities.
He said that the Misamis Occidental E-CLIP committee composed of provincial officials, sector groups, local military and police works closely with the DILG in the localized peace process initiatives in the province.