The heads of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS) under the Office of the President (OP), the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and the National Youth Commission (NYC) earlier today signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to help and empower indigenous Filipino youth.
The DSWD, OCS, NCIP and the NYC agreed to “collaboratively conduct culturally sensitive/Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP)-based programs and activities for the IP youth such as but not limited to IP youth organization, IP youth module development, capability building, and other IP youth leadership development.”
As stated in the MOA, “the parties will establish a strong collaboration and networking activities between themselves in the formulation and implementation of IP culturally sensitive and IKSP-based plans and programs for the involvement and participation of indigenous peoples/indigenous youth in community and national level leadership, representation and decision-making and on relevant development of IP youth programs and activities towards the national thrust of inclusive growth and participatory governance thru IP youth leadership and resiliency capacity building.”
The MOA was signed by DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco, OP-OCS Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr; NCIP Chairperson Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo; and, NYC Chairperson Cariza Y. Seguerra.
OIC Leyco explained that the DSWD implements statutory and specialized welfare programs and projects that seek to alleviate poverty, empower and improve the quality of life of disadvantaged individuals, families and communities. Among them is the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer, a specialized welfare program that is culture-sensitive, culture-relative, and culture-appropriate intended to serve the indigenous peoples in geographically disadvantaged and isolated areas (IPs in GIDA). It also has, through its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program National Program Management Office, a project entitled “Capability Development for IP Youth towards Leadership and Empowerment”. The project has a timeline of two years from 2018 to 2019.
“We will now ensure that the program and project will both be maximized for the benefit of indigenous youth. We will work together with the OP-OCS, the NCIP, and the NYC who have their own respective programs and mandates to help IP communities and IP youth to establish more opportunities for their education, future employment, and overall improved well-being,” said OIC Leyco.
Under the MOA, the DSWD will undertake the following obligations:
- Ensure that Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process and related processes for the protection of rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) are accomplished in the conduct of the project “Capability Development for IP Youth towards Leadership and Empowerment” and in the implementation of this MOU.
- Endorse pilot areas based on MCCT areas to the NCIP central office for validation of the NCIP regional and field offices;
- Request a validated list of IP youth from NCIP and formulate core group of IP youth leaders with 10-15 members per pilot area;
- Facilitate the conduct of participatory situational analysis in coordination with OCS, NCIP and NYC for the identification and assessment of needs, problems, concerns, and issues of IP youth leaders;
- Provide initial /basic culturally sensitive and IKSP-based capacity building activities to IP youth leaders primarily on the steps in IP youth group organizing in coordination with NYC and NCIP;
- In coordination with NCIP central, regional and field offices, conduct culturally sensitive and IKSP-based coaching and mentoring / technical assistance to the concerned staff in handling and dealing with Indigenous Peoples (e.g. establish rapport with the IP Leaders concerned youth and the community);
- Provide counterpart funding requirements to implement other culturally sensitive and IKSP-based IP youth projects towards IP youth leadership development and resiliency;
- Establish linkages with other National Government Agencies (e.g. NCIP, NYC, NCCA, TESDA, DepEd, and others) for the provision of appropriate interventions to the IP youth groups;
- Advocate for the promotion and dissemination of culturally sensitive/IKSP-based IP programs through all existing media platforms;
- Designate a focal person for this collaboration; and,
- Ensure the efficient implementation of the collaborative activities and its inclusion in the DSWD annual work plan.
Immediately after the MOA signing, a Technical Working Committee (TWC) will be created composed of DSWD, OCS, NCIP and NYC representatives.
Among their duties and responsibilities are to formulate mechanisms and guidelines on the criteria of selecting potential IP Youth Leaders in accordance with IP customary law and IKSP for involving IP youth in IP community leadership, decision-making and relevant development programs and activities for this undertaking; and, facilitate the organization of the core group of IP youth leaders through measures and mechanisms that ensure the strengthening of IP socio-political structures, systems and institutions and/or allow the interfacing of indigenous governance or organization systems with non-indigenous or national systems in pilot IP communities or ancestral domains. ###