THE CITY OF DAVAO – Instead of holding the annual Indigenous Peoples (IP) Games, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has decided to donate 450 sets of handcrafted school supplies to IP communities through the Mandatory Indigenous Peoples Representative of this city (IPMR).
“We cannot compromise the health and safety of our IP students. So instead of continuing the program, we are distributing these personalized merchandise to help them with their studies,” said PSC Commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey, in an interview on Monday.
Since 2018, SPC has organized the PA Games in cooperation with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
“PSC aims to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage and tradition of our ancestors by organizing indigenous sports and games in different parts of the country,” Maxey said.
Through the initiative of the PSC, the House of Representatives approved the Philippine Indigenous Games Preservation Act of 2017 or Bill No. 8626 in December 2018.
The author of the bill, the representative of the 1-Ang Edukasyon party list, Salvador Belaro, said that traditional games are “the best means of personal expression and the promotion of peace, harmony, goodwill and camaraderie among Indigenous peoples”.
The PSC donation consists of 450 native tinalak backpacks, 200 abaca shoulder bags, 400 folders, 200 bamboo notebooks, 200 bamboo ballpoint pens, and 200 personalized briefcases.
Maxey, a Davao City native and former head of the city’s sports development division, also expressed his gratitude to current office leaders for continuing Tribal Games, the legacy of PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez who chaired the Sports Development Division when it was set up in 2014.
For his part, Councilor Peg-Buyyahon Rodolfo Mande, the local IPMR, said the donated items will be of great help to the young members of the Klata, Matigsalug and Ovu-Manovu tribes.
“Our 200 scholars and other members of our tribes will surely be happy to receive these donations,” Mande said.
Besides Davao City, Maxey said they will also donate to IPs in Talaingod, Davao del Norte; Cebu and Benguet. (NAP)