USTP turns over tribal clothing & Balay Tulugan to Santa Cruz community
By Aire Jade L. Taga & Carlos Ian H. Mendoza, USTP Claveria STRATCOMM
On January 11, 2023, the Extension and Community Relations Office (ECRO) of the University of Science and Technology of the Southern Philippines (USTP) Claveria, in collaboration with the Auxiliary Management Services, held a turnover ceremony for the Balay Tulugan (a multi-purpose building) and some tribal clothing for the indigenous community in Barangay Santa Cruz, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
The USTP Claveria ECRO, as the university’s extension arm, takes the lead in collaborating with the community through extension activities—looking at true development through the eyes of marginalized groups, particularly the IP in the area.
This year, the academe – particularly the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Engineering and Technology (CET), and College of Agriculture (CA) of USTP Claveria – conducted the said activity to strengthen and renew pledges during the tripartite Extension Program partnership with Barangay Santa Cruz, its Local Government Unit, and the Tribo Konsehal of the said area.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) selected Brgy. Santa Cruz as the pilot barangay for the extension program due to the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) in the municipality.
The activity also served as a venue for dialogue with the Indigenous People (IP), community leaders, and university affiliates in the area. Discussions on the rights of IP and environmental protection were initiated as well as the conversation with the IPs together with the USTP System President, Chancellor of USTP Claveria, Barangay Captain of Santa Cruz, and tribe chieftain of the Santa Cruz Higaonon Tribal Association.
The activity has provided the university with significant insight into the plight of the indigenous people in the said barangay, especially during the implementation of the different extension activities, with respect to the beliefs of the IPs and the community.
In his message, Dr. Renato O. Arazo, Chancellor of USTP Claveria, expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support and the continuing efforts and formulation of sustainable programs to help uplift and further develop the locality’s education sector and its learners through extension programs.
“The University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) has always been committed to reaching out to marginalized communities through community extension programs. The Extension Program is primarily supported by the university’s faculty, staff, and students. Hence, the activity will also open opportunities to harness the knowledge and expertise that are beneficial for future endeavors and collaborations with stakeholders,” said Dr. Renato O. Arazo, Chancellor of USTP Claveria.
Eulugio D. Playto, Chieftain of the Brgy. Santa Cruz Higaonon Tribe, also expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support of the IPs and the community, and the continuing efforts and formulation of sustainable programs to help uplift and further develop the municipality’s education sector and its learners.
Dr. Ambrosio B. Cultura II, USTP System President, stated that the activity will also provide opportunities to leverage knowledge and expertise, which will be beneficial for future endeavors and collaborations with stakeholders. Sharing knowledge on topics such as sustainable agriculture, gender and development, crop value-adding activities, agricultural enterprise development, and other relevant interventions that are seen to bridge the gap between community needs and industry.
“Our archipelagic country is teeming with diverse identities in the form of IP communities, which contribute to the preservation of traditional, pre-colonial culture, social structures, lifestyle practices, and native lands. In contrast, our USTP community has made significant contributions to our country’s food security, economic development, employment and income, sustainability, biodiversity, climate, emancipation, and cultural heritage. To date, the activity is a celebration of our IPs’ rights to the land,” Dr. Cultura said.
After the ceremony, tribal clothing was distributed to tribal members, spearheaded by the USTP System President and the USTP Claveria Chancellor.
Also present during the turnover ceremony to receive the Tribal Dress was Datu Eulugio D. Playto, Chieftain of the Santa Cruz Higaonon Tribal Association, Bae Fely G. Olinan, and Bae Anita Paje.