[Press Release] Lumads Start Arriving in Koronadal for the National IP Women Gathering and the State of the IP Address (SIPA)

July 21, 2011

KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO – Indigenous people from different tribes in the Philippines have started to arrive this afternoon here in Koronadal City to participate in two major events, the National IP Women Gathering and the State of the Indigenous Peoples Address (SIPA)

The historic gathering is expecting to convene at least 100 key leaders and chieftains from tribal groups in Mindanao from Manobo, Mamanwa, T’boli, B’laan, Subanen, Teduray, Higaonon, Talaandig, Mandaya in the provinces of Surigao, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bukidnon, Davao; Agta, Bukidnon, and Atis of Negros provinces in the Visayas, and the Aeta, Palawan, Mangyan, Kankana-ey, Ibaloi, Igurot tribes of Luzon to the attend the event scheduled on July 23-28, 2011.

The gathering of the lumads will be held at the Christ the King Retreat Center (CKRC), Koronadal City.

The National IP Women gathering is happening right before the annual SIPA or State of the Indigenous Peoples Address.  Most of the IP women coming for the gathering have attended at least one SIPA, and so know and have experienced participating in this big gathering of Indigenous leaders.

The gathering dubbed as “IP WOMEN : WEAVING DESIRES TOGETHER, FORGING COLLECTIVE STRENGTH TOWARDS SOLIDARITY, and GENUINE CHANGES” has two main objectives of this gathering are –One, to have an assessment of the SIPA, whether that platform actually serves the interests of the IP Women, whether their participation has been facilitated to make it meaningful and productive, and whether the SIPA itself reflects their own situation, and articulates their issues as well as dreams and ideas of solutions. The second main objective is to facilitate their input in the coming SIPA – their specific conditions as women members of the IP communities, their own thoughts and assessment of the first year of the Pnoy Administration, and their own proposals of policy agenda.

The outcomes of this gathering will be formulated into an IP Women Agenda, which will be given to relevant agencies both at the national and local level; and to other policymakers.  This will also be given to other women’s groups and women’s rights advocates to garner support to their cause.  The IP women agenda will also be shared to the SIPA assembly as contribution to the development of the State of the Indigenous Peoples Address 2011.

SIPA is a national gathering of indigenous peoples to present to the Filipino people their true state and plight, their issues and concerns, their aspirations and their struggles to protect and promote their rights as communities and as peoples.

This is the fourth SIPA to be organized.  It is held every year since 2008 in July, parallel to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President of the Philippines.

Carl Cesar C. Rebuta
SIPA Coordinator
LRC-KsK/FoE-Philippines
Cocoy.rebuta@lrcksk.org
09053272676

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