Carrying the theme “Empowering Indigenous Peoples (IPs) through the Whole-of-Nation Approach,” the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program celebrated National IP Month in Suyo, Ilocos Sur.

Overall Champion: Brgy. Suyo Proper

Kankanaey and Bago tribes from the eight barangays showcased their cultural dances in the Sayaw ng Katutubo Competition and displayed their freshly picked agricultural products, handicrafts, ready-to-wear items, homemade delicacies, among others, in the Best in Barangay Booth Competition.

Brgy. Suyo Proper was hailed as the overall champion in the Sayaw ng Katutubo and Best in Barangay Booth Competitions. All the contenders received cash prizes.

Programs and services for IPs were also extended by partner agencies from Ilocos Sur Provincial Health Office, Suyo Municipal Health Office, Department of Agriculture (DA), National Nutrition Council (NNC), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

The Ilocos Sur Provincial Health Office and Suyo Municipal Health Office offered free medical and dental consultation. Seeds and reading materials on farming were distributed by DA. Height and weight of the IPs were also captured by the NNC and one-on-one discussion on Pinggang Pinoy. Assistance on membership and other concerns were clarified by the PhilHealth. The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) was also detailed by the NCIP.

According to Hon. Municipal Mayor Mario B. Subagan, every IP should be proud of one’s roots and wherever one goes, one should always show the good qualities of IPs. He also shared that he himself is a proud Igorot.

Family Food Packs from DSWD FO 1 were also distributed to 240 families who rendered two-day community work for disaster mitigation. All children were also thrilled upon receiving backpacks, school supplies, mugs, and toys.

Regional Program Coordinator Rosalyn L. Descallar challenged the IPs to sustain their culture and tradition because these are considered one of their greatest wealth.

IP Caravan is a collaborative effort of the DSWD FO 1 and its partner-agencies that is annually conducted to deliver social services closer to cultural communities towards development.         (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)