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State university’s research on IP wins nat’l, international awards

By Sonny Malate


GOA, Camarines Sur --- A research on indigenous people (IP) living in this town by a team from Partido State University has reaped awards and recognitions from the reputable institutions in the country and abroad.


The research delved the critical aspect of health dynamics in the context of poverty and development of IPs – the Agta Isarog and Agta Tabangnon – at the Mount Isarog in Southern Luzon.

Titled “Evaluating Poverty and Promoting Development through Health Dynamics of Indigenous People in Southern Luzon, the Philippines,” the research was conducted by a team of faculty members from the College of Business and Management of the Partido State University main campus, here. The respondent indigenous people were residents of 12 barangays in Goa, Camarines Sur.


The research team was headed by Emmanuel A. Onsay with Rolan Jon G. Bulao, Kevin B. Baltar and Enrique C. Pilapil III as members. Onsay is a program director of BS Economics at Partido Institute of Economics and a faculty researcher at PSU main campus. Closely providing assistance in the conduct of the research were the PSU, the De la Salle University, and the local government unit of Goa thru Mayor Marcel S. Pan.


Onsay is a Master of Arts scholar at the School of Economics in De la Salle University in Manila. He is also a faculty member of the Accountancy and Economics at PSU main campus.


The research was adjudged grand winner in International Research Competition by Institute of Industry and Academic Research Incorporated and was named 2nd Best Paper in Asian Conference on Resource Management and Governance by Northwest Samar State University and National Presentation by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA).


Issues on health dynamics were determined through reports on child mortality, maternal mortality, children malnutrition, and type of housing, type of settlement, access to safe water, and access to a safe toilet facility.


Among the 12 villages, Barangay San Isidro West has the biggest number of child mortality followed by Barangay Pinaglabanan and Barangay Payatan. No documented case of child mortality in six other barangays, an indication of good health and nutrition in those areas. No case of pregnancy-related mortality has been recorded also.


Aside from the data gathered by the researchers, the facts used in completing the report were also culled from the LGU’s Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) on indigenous people, specifically the 2018-2019 census.

A member of Agta Tabangnon tribe holding

a spear primarily used in hunting wild animals.


On malnutrition, Payatan has the highest number of cases followed by San Jose West and San Pedro Aroro. No document has been registered for such cases in barangays Abucayan and Catagbacan.


The research reported that poverty in the IP community is brought about by inadequacy in the financial capability due to lack of livelihood opportunities and poor access to basic education.


It was determined also in the research that poverty among the two tribes greatly affects their ability to respond to their needs to acquire good health and nutrition, housing, and access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and other basic necessities.


Onsay noted that the research will provide valuable data and insights concerning health, livelihood and other aspects of life in IP communities to the NCIP, the local government units and other stakeholders.


He further said that cooperation between IPs, private institutions and government agencies is necessary to alleviate poverty incidence, improve the welfare of every IP household, reduce the risks and vulnerabilities they face, and promote socio-economic development in the community.


The research strongly proposes the promotion of a strong advocacy among all stakeholders to capacitate the IP. A policy mapping is recommended also to be able to determine which aspects of each vulnerability and poverty should be given an intervention first.


The results of policy targeting can be of help in coming up with appropriate allocation of resources that will lead to the achievement of economic development, especially with regard to health.


Mayor Pan said that the IPs in his municipality can be considered fortunate after a member of the sector – one named Rafael G. Belleza – has been recognized by the municipal government to sit as IP representative in the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) by virtue of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Administrative Order No. 3, series of 2018, as mandated under RA No. 8371, or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. Belleza began to assume his post at the SB on the first week of December 2022.


The mayor also said that with a member of the tribe sitting as IP representative to the Sangguniang Bayan, it is hoped that the voice of the indigenous people in this town will become more audible, a welcome development that would help to achieve an IP community that is empowered, productive, and happy.


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