The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) have formally partnered to boost the promotion of cultural heritage while empowering the indigenous peoples (IPs) through tourism.
The DOT on Thursday said Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco and NCIP Chair Allen Capuyan signed a memorandum of agreement on Aug. 16 that will support and implement the Katutubo-KAPWA project.
The Katutubo-KAPWA project is a nationwide initiative that enjoins support for the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICCs/IPs) in tourism development, covering destinations and IP communities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Frasco said this partnership reflects DOT’s commitment to honoring the IP and giving them opportunities for economic advancement.
“We subscribe to the belief that in honoring the origins of the Philippines and the Filipino people, we strengthen the Filipino brand, we enrich the Filipino identity, and we give our fellow Filipinos a necessary and timely reminder that there is indeed so much to love about the Philippines, and that starts with ourselves, the Filipino people, including our indigenous peoples,” she said.
The DOT said the Katutubo-KAPWA project also targets to address the gaps and needs of each destination such as the lack of tourism skills and competencies among IPs involved in tourism activities, and essential infrastructure, among others.
A Technical Working Group (TWG) will be created composed of representatives from DOT and NCIP to monitor and oversee its implementation.
”Our indigenous communities are the vanguards of the Filipino identity. In their heritage, their history, and their living cultural traditions, we are reminded of that which we all know to be true–we all love our country. There is so much to love about the country, foremost of which is our identity as a Filipino people,” Frasco said.
The NCIP, meanwhile, looks forward to the project’s implementation while citing the DOT’s role for the protection and promotion of arts and culture components of the country.
“It is our honor and privilege to be partnering with the Department of Tourism in the implementation of our Katutubo-KAPWA project, which aims to involve the indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples in tourism development,” Capuyan said. “We hope that this will pave the way for a more stable and secure future.”
Under the partnership, DOT vowed to provide support to tourism-related capacity building/capacity development, infrastructure projects, product development, and other tourism-related programs activities for eligible and interested ICCs/IPs.
Its commitments also include support for the development and promotion of their ancestral domains, assistance and funding for the identified tourism-related projects of the ICCs/IPs for enterprise, livelihood, and jobs creation.
The DOT has also committed to providing assistance and promotional platforms for the products of the ICCs/IPs to attract tourists to patronize the local tourism economy. (PNA)