Surigao del Sur

Cultural Communities

Surigao Del Sur has a total IP population of 145,111 in year 2001, 25,544 in the 1st District and 119,567 in the 2nd District. These people live in the far-flung barangay stretching uplands 5 kilometers from the barangay proper. There is no electricity in these areas, no safe source of potable water, and no sufficient supply of food. As to employment, IPs are generally discriminated especially the Mamanwas who, from their appearance alone, people considered them as 2nd class citizens so to speak, just like the Aetas in Luzon.

However, with the passage of R.A. 8371 otherwise known as the Indigenous peoples rights Act of 1997, Indigenous Peoples (IPs) were given new hope in life since under said law, certain benefits and privileges were granted to them. Most important of which is the recognition of their rights to Ancestral Domain and they are also given the right to be represented in all policy-making bodies and these are mandatory in all LGU's However, these mandatory representations are not yet implemented up to this time.

IP communities are generally in the remotest areas of a remote barangay. One would wonder how these IP's lived in these area where it would take them 5-8 hours walks with a very mountainous and tedious terrain. To date, IP communities have no schools, no access roads, no health centers and no means of transportation and communications.

As to their socio-cultural profile, the Indigenous Peoples of Surigao del Sur are firm believers of their customs and traditions which, even with the advent of new technologies in the global world traditional rituals played a vital part of their daily life. In some areas where migrants and logging operator are present IP's still preserved their colorful traditions. The demands of the IP?s are those projects/or programs that will enhance and develop skills within their capability and resources as a means to alleviate their living condition and sources of income.