Guimaras promises more aid to Indigenous Peoples

JORDAN, Guimaras, Nov. 25 (PNA) — Efforts to help raise the standard of living of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) living in Guimaras province through a proactive practice of traditional medicine received a shot in the arm from the provincial government led by Governor Samuel Gumarin.

The governor vowed unwavering support to the Ati Healers Working Group (AHWG) whose members include Aetas, or Ati in the dialect, residing in the towns of Nueva Valencia and Sibunag, and Kati-kati Ati communities of Brgy. Bugnay in the provincial capital.

Gumarin, who attended a traditional medicine workshop sanctioned by the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) held over the weekend pledged Php140,000 to the group, which is Php 40,000 higher from the current year allocation of Php 100,000.

The governor, himself a physician, knows well the exponential rise in the popularity of herbs medicine worldwide and urged the natives to work hard to improve quality and delivery of herbal products sans the risks during actual use.

For her part, National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Commissioner Dionesia Banua glossed over Gumarin’s benevolence, but also challenged the Aetas to rise above themselves by being productive citizens of their communities.

During the workshop, an action plan was drawn where traditional healing methods by the Ati people would be reinforced, collaboration between traditional healers and conventional medicine practitioners to be more encouraged, and then lastly, to ensure availability of medicinal plants and at the same improve on processing and packaging, Banua said. (PNA)