LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet Caretaker Congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap assured that the indigenous peoples (IPs) will not be left out in the provision of basic services and the implementation of development projects that are being undertaken by concerned government agencies and local governments.
Yap, who chairs the powerful House committee on appropriations, pointed out that he continues to advocate for equality among all sectors of the community so that no one will be left out in availing of the basic services and the distribution of development projects as everyone deserves to be treated equally irregardless of who they are.
The Benguet caretaker congressman emphasized that when he came to the province, he embarked on the policy of equality in the distribution of whatever available assistance that he was able to get from concerned government agencies to ensure that every household will be able to avail of at least one of the government’s assistance programs and that the same is continuously being pursued.
While he also embarked on the advocacy that there should be no discrimination, Congressman Yap disclosed that it is still very unfortunate that indigenous peoples are still being discriminated as what had happened in the discriminatory statements against Igorots contained on some learning materials of the education department.
According to him, the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) that guaranteed the upliftment of the IP rights should serve as an inspiration and motivation to IPs to fight for their rights when they feel discriminated and that he will support the same so that equality in society will be achieved.
The lawmaker underscored that he respects and values the importance of the culture and traditions of IPs that is why when he was appointed as the legislative caretaker of the province, he exerted extra effort to understand the history, culture and traditions of the IPs which he also now espouses and practices contrary to the continuous criticisms being hurled against him by his detractors who want to discredit him in the eyes of the IPs to suit their own personal and political interests which is evident by the way they talk and deal with people whom they interact with.
He added that he has been always true to his commitment to the IPs that he will help in advancing their rights over their ancestral domains and that they should not be unduly discriminated because they deserve the utmost respect and recognition as Filipinos living in the country and that they were able to see for themselves the realization of such commitment, especially in the distribution of various forms of assistance from concerned government agencies where no one was left out in the process.
Congressman yap urged those households in the different parts of the province who were not able to avail of the various forms of assistance to get in touch with his office form them to be considered in the future distribution of aid from the government for them to be able to cope up with the present difficulties caused by the ongoing health crisis besetting the whole world. By HENT