Robin Padilla wants gov’t to make IPs look presentable: ‘Yung hindi parang pulubi’
MANILA, Philippines —If the government can’t stop Badjaos and other indigenous peoples (IPs) from traveling to Metro Manila to beg for alms, then at least it should train them to look presentable and sing carols for Christmas.
Senator Robin Padilla raised this suggestion on Wednesday as the Senate finance subcommittee deliberated on the proposed 2023 budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
At first, Padilla was dismayed by the constant rotation of IPs back onto the streets after spending their Christmas begging earnings.
Subsequently, he asked whether or not the government could provide them with livelihood assistance without putting their lives in danger.
In response, DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo informed the panel of their programs to address Padilla’s concerns.
“Ang problema ho kasi ay meron hong parang band-aid solution ang pamahalaan. Wala pong kongkreto at long-term planning,” Tulfo said.
(The problem is that the government has a band-aid-like solution. There is no concrete and long-term planning.)
He shared the senator’s view that these IPs kept coming back to Manila’s streets since they can’t make a living in their home region.
It was at this point that Padilla raised his proposition.
“Pwede po kayang halimbawa sila ay imbes na magmukhang kasi parang pulubi ang hitsura nila –napakasakit tingnan eh kasi ito ‘yung mga ‘royal blood’ natin eh…” he said.
(Is it possible that, for example, instead of them looking like beggars – because it’s excruciating to see because they are our “royal blood.”)
“Pwede po kaya ‘yung halimbawa kung hindi po nila po talaga kayang matiis na pumunta rito at mamasko – kung aayusan natin sila tapos tuturuan na mangaroling, pwede ba yun? Tapos dadalhin ng maayos, ‘yung hindi po parang pulubi?” the senator asked again.
(Is it possible that, for example, if they really cannot resist going here during the Christmas season – if we make them presentable then teach them to do the caroling, is that possible? We help them so they will not look like beggars?)
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) chairman Allen Capuyan welcomed the idea and vowed to take action.
“Tama po kayo na isa sa ating preservation of culture, ‘yung pagtatahi ng kanilang mga damit na maging presentable. So we’re coordinating with Tesda (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) for local trainings ng weaving at saka sa pagtatahi,” Capuyan said.
(You are right that one of our preservation of culture is to make their own clothes to make them presentable. So we’re coordinating with Tesda for local training on weaving and sewing.)
Tulfo, meanwhile, explained that the government could not provide assistance to all IPs because they do not have birth certificates or any proof of identification, which is a requirement to become a DSWD beneficiary.
“So ang una pong gagawin natin this December, we will start registering them sa mga local civil registrar para po magkaroon sila ng birth certificate…” he said.
(So the first thing we’ll do this December, we will start registering them with local civil registrars so they can have birth certificates.)
“We have and we must register this. Hindi po natin matatapos (We cannot finish it) in six years because there’s over one million of them so we have to register them and we will do that around December,” the DSWD chief added.