(Courtesy of Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles Official Facebook)

MANILA – Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles on Friday expressed her intent to step up the information and communication campaign on the rich history and culture of indigenous peoples (IP).

National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Commissioner Jennifer Sibug and members of the IP community paid Cruz a visit in her office in Manila.

Preparations for the National Indigenous Peoples Month in October were discussed, Cruz-Angeles shared on Facebook.

Ating pinag-usapan ang mga paghahanda ng NCIP sa National Indigenous Peoples Month sa Oktubre at kung paano tayo makatutulong para magbigay ng tamang impormasyon ukol sa ating mga katutubo (We talked about the NCIP’s preparations for the National Indigenous Peoples Month in October and ways to help provide right information about the IPs),” she said.

Cruz-Angeles said she also received a Project Epanaw (Journey) coffee table book which showcases indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) or IPs’ pristine and relevant indigenous knowledge and practices, as well as their existing and potential contributions to sustainable development.

By virtue of Proclamation 1906 signed in 2009, the National Indigenous Peoples Month is celebrated every October to support and promote IP culture and traditions.

Under the proclamation, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is tasked as the lead agency in the planning, coordination, and implementation of the program of activities and events which will help conserve and protect the IP culture and traditions.

The proclamation mandates the NCCA to cooperate with the NCIP, Office of the Muslim Affairs, Commission on Higher Education, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

The NCIP, in a Facebook post, said the annual event will be held from October 3 to 29, with the theme “25 Years: Fulfilling the Indigenous Peoples Rights and Bridging the Gaps through ICCs/IPs Convergence with Partners and Stakeholders to Ensure Economic Sustainability and Security in the Ancestral Domains.”

The Philippines’ indigenous population is estimated to make up 10 percent to 20 percent of the over 100 million total population, according to data from the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs.

The NCIP has been coordinating with other national government agencies, local government units, state universities and colleges, non-governmental organizations, international partners, private sector, and media to help in the continuing advocacy, promotion, and protection of ICCs or IPs’ heritage, culture, and history. (PNA)