𝐂𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐁𝐔𝐋𝐋𝐄𝐓𝐈𝐍 || News Story
𝖫𝖺𝗆𝗎𝗍, 𝖨𝖿𝗎𝗀𝖺𝗈--𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑹 & 𝑫 𝑪𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑰𝑹𝑻-𝑮𝑰𝑨𝑯𝑺 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒏 "𝑵𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑪𝒖𝒍𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝑯𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒈𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑻𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒎 𝑻𝒐𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝑳𝒐𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝑺𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝑫𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒑𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 (𝑰𝒎𝒑𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑪𝒉𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑰𝒇𝒖𝒈𝒂𝒐 𝑺𝒂𝒕𝒐𝒚𝒂𝒎𝒂)" 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒇𝒐𝒄𝒖𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒈𝒆 𝒓𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔, 𝒍𝒐𝒄𝒂𝒍 𝒕𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒎 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒍𝒆𝒈𝒊𝒔𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔.
The opening brief started with a primer on the Ifugao Rice Terraces as a World Heritage Site and a globally recognized agricultural heritage system.
Moreover, Judy C. Baggo, GIAHS Center Director, challenged the participants during his opening remarks to be part of the global initiative in safeguarding the cultural heritage and identity of the province. He emphasized that the stories of the different flora and fauna found in the Ifugao Satoyama should also be experienced by the future generations and it is for the current generation's responsibility to ensure it for the future.
NCIP-Ifugao Provincial Officer, Esther Nalliw-Licnachan emphasized the importance of ensuring that Indigenous Peoples Rights must be protected and respected while the province is gearing towards development in the tourism industry.
Further, she pointed out that tourist sites and events are located and tied to the Ifugao culture [ and agriculture], hence, the provisions in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act is applicable covering Ancestral Domains/Lands, right to self-governance and empowerment, social justice and human rights, and cultural integrity. On her discussion on “Understanding IP Rights in the Growing Heritage Tourism Industry”, she reiterated the importance of conducting the Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) before pursuing plans or activities to be introduced in the province.
She further challenged the participants to work for the recognition, respect, protection and promotion of IP rights.
Detchie Eudelyn Enkiwe, Tourism Operations Officer of the Local Government of Mayoyao shared how the Municipality of Mayoyao is slowly taking actions in safeguarding the cultural heritage of the municipality. In her presentation on “Balancing Tourism and Conservation at Heritage Sites”, she reiterated the principle of sustainable tourism development while giving due regard to the conservation of natural endowments and preservation of cultural heritage under the Tourism Act of 2009.
She also shared that the Tourism Office in Mayoyao is focused on the following concepts of sustainable heritage tourism namely—collaboration, finding the fit between a community and tourism, making sites and programs come alive, and preserving and protecting resources. She emphasized that the presence of a comprehensive Municipal Tourism Development Plan will help ensure sustainability.
Also, she shared practices in the municipality such as initially mapping (listing and assessing) cultural and historical sites in the municipality to determine which type of tourism commodity shall be developed, creating culture-friendly tourism tour and packages, integration of local legends, myths, epics and tales in the tourism sites that may include story-telling on the sites as well as creative arts display, and the institutionalization of historical, cultural and heritage conservation events.
Moreover, she shared the Mayoyao experience in its efforts in the Rice Terraces Restoration Project. She shared that the project was initiated by Mayor Jimmy Padchanan Jr. which focuses on restoring rice paddies already reclaimed by nature. This program is currently gaining momentum and success following the data presented. Also, it is a collaboration of the local government and other stakeholders as well as the locals with the sharing of labor and other resources.
On the other hand, Hon. Joselito G. Guyguyon, Board Member-District 1, presented existing heritage legislations and local policies in Ifugao. Emphasizing the recognition of the terraces in the global scale, he reiterated that everyone must participate in ensuring the continuity of the IRT system as a cultural landscape.
He categorized and discussed these legislations as follows—Agricultural Heritage Systems Preservation and Enhancement, Culture and Arts Preservation and Promotion, Historical Value Recognition, and Environmental Protection.
Notable legislations include the Municipal Ordinance entitled “Recognizing the Locally Important Agricultural Heritage System of Hingyon, Ifugao and Providing Funds Thereof” declared valid by Provincial Resolution No. 2023-82. Also highlighted was the Municipal Ordinance of Mayoyao entitled “Institutionalizing the Mayoyao Rice Terraces Restoration and Maintenance of Other Heritage Areas and Rice Culture Program and Appropriating Funds Thereof”, declared valid by Provincial Resolution No. 2020-185.
The resource speakers also expressed full support to the Center’s programs on Heritage Conservation and Sustainability and pledged cooperation and collaboration on future activities.
The activity held last August 31, 2023 was attended by the ISMTP Trainees and students from the Tourism Management Program as well as from the Political Science Program of Ifugao State University.#
-Rolly Keth B. Nabanalan