Mr. Jeffrey Pasikan, Trade and Industry Development Specialist at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the Cordillera Administrative Region, invited PeaceBuilders Community—Cordillera to help in the organizational strengthening and team-building for selected farmers’ associations around Tabuk City. The initial sessions were held last 20-23 October 2017.
Prof. Malou Alngag, who belongs to an indigenous community called Sumacher Tribe, leads PBCI-Cordillera. Malou brings a healthy mix of traditional indigenous wisdom and modern scientific knowledge in the Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) movement in the Cordillera Region. Her vision is to integrate PAR principles and practices in the educational system, in social entrepreneurship, and in public administration. Her educational training—Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Master of Arts in Public Administration—prepared her well for this vision. Her PAR dreams and energies are mostly channeled through her work as Associate Professor of Public Administration at the Kalinga State University in Tabuk City.
Malou is assisted by Aiza ‘Wanay’ Baluyan—a proud indigenous woman from the Banao Tribe in the Province of Kalinga. She is a Registered Nurse with specific expertise on health advocacy. Along her professional journey, she gained skills on event coordination as well as community-based learning facilitation. She is also a dedicated environmental activist. Her dream is to continue her passion to help her people in the area of community-based health care and inclusive development initiatives—such as coffee farming, processing, and marketing. While learning peace and reconciliation with PBCI and CFP, she is also planning to nurture their clan’s coffee plantation in their home village. Wanay serves as PAR Field Facilitator and Inclusive Development Worker.
Malou and Wanay have earned the respect of various sectors of their region, including the Department of Trade and Industry. And PeaceBuilders Community—Cordillera strongly supports the mandate of DTI to be “responsible for realizing the country’s goal of globally competitive and innovative industry and services sector that contribute to inclusive growth and employment generation.”
“Anchored on the values of passion, integrity, creativity, competence, synergy, and love of country,” DTI seeks to fulfill its mission as “the government’s main economic catalyst in enabling innovative, competitive, job-generating, inclusive business, and empowering consumers.” DTI also envisions to be the government’s prime catalyst towards a “more inclusive and prosperous Philippines with employment and income opportunities for all.”
PBCI, Coffee For Peace, and the PAR movement in Kalinga are praying for the transparent fulfillment of the tasks of DTI in terms of inclusive development: “To reduce inequality and poverty by expanding economic opportunities in industry and services, and by increasing the access particularly of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), cooperatives and overseas Filipinos (OFs) to these opportunities.”