WEAR WITH PRIDE. Davao City Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre passes on first reading a proposal that seeks to require city hall employees to wear an indigenous people attire every month. During the City Council's regular session Tuesday (July 26, 2022), Alejandre said the proposed measure aims to honor and respect the 11 IP tribes of the city whose members are considered its original dwellers. (Screengrab from the 20th Davao City Council)

DAVAO CITY – A City Councilor here filed a proposed ordinance requiring city hall employees to wear indigenous people (IP) attire at work once monthly.

Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre filed Tuesday the measure requiring “city government employees to wear an Indigenous People attire Every first Monday of the month to celebrate our local culture.”

“When I was appointed by then President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as then executive director of the National Commission on Culture and Arts, I realized that our culture and tradition receive less appreciation. Although we are a country rich in history, we have somehow failed to appreciate our diversity and mocked the identity that shaped us,” Alejandre said in a privilege speech.

He mentioned the traditional Bagobo-Tagabawa attire worn by Vice President Sara Z. Duterte to the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday.

“Though Vice President Inday Sara made a grand entrance and became the belle of the crowd during President Marcos’ SONA, she was not excused from the criticisms of the public. Many praised her for promoting her city’s culture. However, few people have called out what she wore and called it a ‘cosplay’, Alejandre said.

He said the Vice President donned the Bagobo Tagabawa traditional attire because she wants to show her care and appreciation to the IPs.

In an interview, Alejandre underscored the importance of having Dabawensyos wear the traditional attire of the 11 IP tribes, whose members are considered the original dwellers of Davao City.

“We need to acknowledge and appreciate it. This is one way of giving them honor and respect,” Alejandre said.

He added: “What Vice President Sara showed us is a message that we can also wear the traditional attires of our IPs on formal occasions that require us to wear Filipiniana.”

The council also has a pending measure that would require all public and private schools at all levels in Davao City to include in their curriculum the city's history. (PNA)