While indigenous peoples enjoy rich natural resources, cultures, and histories, they remain to be some of the most marginalized and impoverished groups in the Philippines.
Most of the communities’ ancestral domain rights are challenged, limiting their potential to strengthen their cultural integrity and empower them to live sustainably, according to Zero Extreme Poverty 2030.
This is a coalition of civil society organizations that aim to reduce extreme poverty in the Philippines by 2030, has been helping IPs on the path to self-sufficiency.
ZEP2030 believes that extreme poverty can be addressed through collective and organized efforts on the following: Health, Education, Environment, Livelihood and Employment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Peace and Human Security, and Partnerships for Indigenous Peoples.
These form the seven clusters of poverty alleviation programs from ZEP2030 working toward social justice, it said in a press statement.
Specific to the program area of Partnerships for Indigenous Peoples, ZEP2030, together with the Indigenous Peoples Leadership and Enterprise Development Academy of the Assisi Development Foundation, gather IP leaders nationwide to provide the practical livelihood training and application to their communities.
A two-year program was developed for the IP fellows who have the potential to form an enterprise that can lead to a more sustainable livelihood for their communities.
The products of some of these social entrepreneurs from IP communities are showcased at Advocafé, a café, and restaurant that allows the general public to help IPs, as 100 percent of the net income go to capacity building of IPs.
On its fourth run of supporting social enterprises from IP communities, IP LeD and ZEP 2030are launching 11 new social enterprises, coinciding with the eighth anniversary of Advocafé. These new social enterprises are:
Robusta coffee from Gubang Farmers Association—Kalinga Robusta coffee from Cagaluan Coffee Farmers Association—Kalinga Almaciga Resin from Sangkalan ng mga Tagbanua sa Labtay, Samahan ng mga Katutubo sa Napsan at Bagumbayan, and Samahan ng Tagbanua sa Brgy. Simpukan Incorporated—Tagbanua (Palawan)
Traditional mats from Ituman Magahat Bukidnon Weavers Association – Ituman Magahat Bukidnon tribe (Negros Occidental) Organic swine from Keuyahan Te Matigsalog Association – Matigsalog (Davao) Breads and pastries from SMMICC – Manobo (Surigao del Sur)Rattan and pandan handicrafts from KATRIMMA – Mamanwa (Surigao del Sur) Peanut and coffee from TJG – Kifengfeng and Lahangkeb – Teduray (Maguindanao) Ginger and ube from Sapa Masalag Indigenous Peoples Organization – Subanen (Zamboanga) Dried fish from Sinaab Nagkalibunan Savings Group – Subanen (Zamboanga) Breads and pastries from Pegsalubukan Subanen Dumingag Association-Dapiwak – Subanen (Zamboanga).
“There is a stigma that the extreme poor are not capable of attaining sustainable livelihood. With the partnership between ZEP2030 and IP LeD, we are not only breaking this stigma. More importantly, we are fostering self-sufficiency and confidence within IP communities through capacity-building initiatives and are paving way for their products to be available in the mainstream market,” explained Kring Sumalinab, ZEP2030 Program Coordinator on Social Entrepreneurship.
ZEP 2030 has developed several capacity building programs for different communities that they work with.
Each community may have varying needs, requiring tailored interventions from the clusters.
“Since we started, Zero Extreme Poverty 2030 has been determined to bring together organizations that have the presence, passion, and expertise from different sectors to lead the fight against poverty. In organizing these efforts, we hope to help more and provide a deeper and wider impact in uplifting the lives of the poor,” stated Benjamin Abadiano, one of the co-convenors of the movement.
“We are working with IP communities as a start, as we recognize that they face a host of challenges. We believe that if we are able to help IP communities get to a level of self-sufficiency, we can create the same impact for the rest of the Philippines.”