NCIP aids in repatriation of 30 locally stranded indigenous peoples
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on Sunday said it had facilitated the repatriation of 30 locally stranded indigenous peoples (LSIPs) back to their homes areas and ancestral domains after months of being stranded in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, NCIP Commissioner Jennifer Pia Sibug-Las said the LSIPs were repatriated via the BRP Gabriela Silang as part of its Oplan Bayanihan project spearheaded by NCIP Chairperson Allen Capuyan.
“Binuo ang Oplan Bayanihan ng NCIP bilang tugan sa hinanaing ng ating mga LSIPs dito sa NCR dahil nakita namin na talagang nakakalungkot ang kanilang sitwasyon. Hindi nila kasama ang kanilang mga pamilya at wala rin silang pinagkukuhanan ng panggastos para mabuhay dito sa Manila,” she said.
She added the repatriation was made possible in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Commission on Women, and several private sectors and civil society organizations.
Sibug-Las said the LSIPs included workers whose incomes were affected by the implementation of the community quarantines.
Overseas Filipino worker applicants whose flights were canceled due to the pandemic were also among the LSIPs.
So far, Sibug-Las said the NCIP was able to locate around 3,121 LSIPs in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces via social media.
Meanwhile, she added the NCIP was continuing to coordinate with various agencies to assist other LSIPs who want to return to their respective homes.
“Marami pang ‘di kasama sa listahan pero sana makaalis na sila this July 4 or 5 ang pinaplanong mass na uwian ng mga LSIPs sa kanilang mga lugar,” Sibug-Las said.
Aside from the repatriation, the NCIP has also provided LSIPs with food packs, hygiene kits, and vitamin supplements. — DVM, GMA News