One of the issues that were highlighted during the series of consultative workshops and meetings that paved the way to both the MIBNP Management Plan and the Tamaraw Conservation and Management Action Plan (TCMAP), is the persisting cultural gaps between Indigenous people and tagalogs. This can exacerbate tension or hinder work relations when affecting DENR offices involving local Mangyan field staff.Therefore, both plans were enriched with activities to address this.
An initial cultural sensitivity training workshop was held last November, organized by Mounts Iglit-Baco Natural Park Protected Area Management Office. It gathered rangers and officers of both TCP and PAMO.
DAF Program Officer Ronet Santos was invited as one of the resource speakers in order to facilitate a session on “Section 13 of the ENIPAS Act of 2018 on Ancestral Domains and Customary Rights,”. It emphasizes that “territories and areas occupied and conserved for and by IPs and communities shall be recognized, respected, developed, and promoted.” The other resource persons in the training workshop who participated via Zoom were NCIP Occidental Mindoro Provincial Officer Noe Raul Zoleta, Timothy Salomon of the Philippine ICCA (Indigenous Communities Conserved Areas), and Dave de Vera of the Philippine Association For Intercultural Development Inc.
This initiative must be continued and evaluated.