by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #netizenmedia
caption: Dencio S. Lipiahan, Sr. (aka Datu Lolong) sits as national chairman of the Higaonon Tribe. He is seen here facilitating a ritual before a tribal assembly tackling concerns on division even among a supposed most organized tribe in Mindanao.
MISAMIS ORIENTAL, NORTHERN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES — Acquisition of technical education and improved basic life skills are seen to surpass current chances of Higaonons to be accepted into important job sectors.
According to Datu Dencio S. Lipiahan, Sr. of the Talugan Ta Tagoloan – Higaonon Tribal Communities Federation, only three of 100 Higaonons qualify for important jobs like that in government, in the academe, in the manufacturing and labor sectors.
“That’s why we have put up a training center because what most Higaonons here lack in general education, they can learn from technical education specialists.” It was learned that Talugan Ta Tagoloan (TTT), in coordination with TESDA and employers based in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, open training on housekeeping, practical electricity, carpentry and mason works.
“We also tap some ex-abroad (members of the tribe who have previous experience of overseas work) to help in the training especially on certain adjustments to Middle East culture, how to handle work-related pressure and crisis, how to behave properly as an overseas contract worker, how to deal with home sickness, and the like,” the Supremo of the TTT said.
In a year’s time, around 30 members of the TTT have been deployed. Around 300 workers are needed in the housekeeping and carpentry sectors.
Further, Datu Lolong lamented of the fact that around P12 million funds were lost to non-Higaonon recipients. “Projects worth P400,000 and another around P12 million, that I know of, have been channeled to the wrong agencies and organizations with non-tribal members. We have not benefited from these. So it is best that when help comes to Higaonons, there is a legitimate organization like TTT to deal with, so project implementers will know the current needs of a tribe of which lands and forests are its people’s natural heritage.”
TTT office is in Balingasag, Talusan, Misamis Oriental; email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is registered under SEC #201329165, with TIN #436-294-976.
Datu Lolong is the national chairman and chief executive officer of the Talugan Ta Tagoloan – Supreme Council of Datus/Baes, Higaonon Tribal Communities Federation.###