The IP Champions in their indigenous attire on the first day of the workshop (top photo).
Ryan Dale Mangusan, Ferdinand Gonzales and Arline Santiago (lower photo, left to right).

Three Private Sector Representatives (PSRs) of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) were among the selected trainees from the region to the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Champions project. They are Mr. Ryan Dale Mangusan, PSR for IP sector and Co-Chair of the Committee on Indigenous Peoples’ Concerns (CIPC), Mr. Ferdinand Gonzales, PSR for Development and Administration (DevAd) sector and Co-Chair of the DevAd Committee, and Ms. Arline Santiago, Geographic PSR of the province of Ifugao.

The project commenced with the Cordillera leg of the IP Champions workshop on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Constitutions and Assessment Tool (IPCAT) held on October 10 to 15, 2021 in Baguio City. Mangusan, Gonzales and Santiago will join the 40 selected IP Champions from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) who will be engaged in capacity building and mentoring activities for two years.

The project aims to enhance IP rights in the Philippines through empowering advocates who can demand rights, and institutions responsible for upholding these rights to effectively fulfill their mandates. This is implemented by the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) supported by the European Union.

The Cordillera is home to 13 ethnolinguistic groups listed by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-CAR and they comprise a total of 66 percent of the region’s population in 2010 based on census report of the Cordillera Philippine Statistics Authority.