THE POWER OF EDUCATION A growing number of Mangyan students are liberating themselves from poverty through education… April 14, 2013 This graduation season, five more Mangyan scholars of Intex Resources Philippines, Inc. joined the growing number of indigenous peoples (IPs) in Mindoro who have completed their high school education. The Mangyans are striving to finish school to help improve the lives of their families and their communities. And they’re doing it in style. One of the scholars, Janet Garcia, was cited for academic excellence while the other two, Adidas Macapuno and Meyor Kasabing, received special awards during the recent commencement exercises of Lakeside Institute at San Isidro, Victoria. Scholars Milagros Arroyo and Sunshine Butoy also hurdled their secondary level course in the presence of their proud parents, most of whom did not have the opportunity to finish elementary school. “Nais   ko   pong   magpatuloy   ng   pag-aaral   sa   kolehiyo   upang   makatulong   sa   mga   kapus   na   kapwa   ko   katutubo. Napakahalaga ng edukasyon para sa amin,” Janet said. Intex,   which   is   in   the   last   stages   of   mining   feasibility   for   its   Mindoro   Nickel   Project,   has   been   implementing      formal and   non-formal   as   well   as   basic   literacy   education   programs   –   including   scholarship   grants   –   to   qualified   Mangyan and   non-Mangyan   individuals.   The   company   undertakes   these   programs   in   coordination   with   the   traditional   leaders and   IP   organizations   within   the   Mangyan   Alangan,   Bangon   and   Tadyawan   tribal   communities.   These   tribes   host   the Mindoro   Nickel   Project   area,   which   straddles   the   municipalities   of   Victoria   in   Oriental   Mindoro   and   Sablayan   in Occidental Mindoro. “Napakasaya   naming   mga   magulang   at   nakatapos   ng   high   school   ang   aming   mga   anak,”   said   Antonio,   Janet’s   father and   a   Mangyan   elder.   “Nagpapasalamat   kami   sa   pamunuan   ng   Intex   dahil   pinag-aral   nila   ang   aming   mga   anak. Hinihiling    namin    na    ipagpatuloy    ang    mga    programa    ng    kumpanya    na    naglalayong    mabigyan    ng    magandang kinabukasan ang mga katutubong Mangyan. Andy   Pestaño,   Intex   manager   for   Community   Relations   and   Development   (CReDO)   said   that   education   is   one         of the demands of their Mangyan partners. “Most   of   them   do   not   have   access   to   education   because   of   lack   of   school   facilities   in   remote   areas,   poverty,            and to   some   extent,   belief   from   some   tribesmen   that   education   will   spoil   their   culture.   We   at   Intex,   believe   that education   itself   will   not   have   a   negative   effect   on   cultures   if   it   is   tailor-fit   to   the   needs   of   those   who   will   be educated,”   he   said.   “The   accumulated   knowledge   of   modern   civilization   should   not   be   kept   from   IPs   like   the Mangyan.   Education,   if   it   will   serve   the   Mangyan,   can   be   an   instrument   for   their   liberation   from   illiteracy   and, ultimately, poverty. Education   will   also   help   the   Mangyan   in   maintaining   their   uniqueness   as   a   people   and   in   asserting   their   rights         as human beings.” To   ensure   the   relevance   of   its   education   programs   and   sensitivity   to   the   Mangyan   culture,   Intex   collaborates         with local   government   units,   the   Department   of   Education,   and   the   National   Commission   on   Indigenous   Peoples.   Since 2008, Intex has sponsored a total of 214 students, and 17 scholar-graduates. For   academic   year   2012-2013,   Intex   has   five   IP   scholars   in   the   college   level.   Of   this   number,   three   scholars   are taking   up   Agriculture,   while   the   two   others   Entrepreneurship.   Another   five   IPs   are   enrolled   in   vocational   studies under the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA). “Marami   kaming   natutunan   sa   aming   pag-aaral.   Natuto   kaming   makisalamuha   sa   maraming   tao.   Natuto   rin   kami mag-computer.   Higit   sa   lahat   natutunan   namin   ang   mga   magagandang   aral   sa   Bibliya,   at   kagandahang   asal   dahil   na rin   sa   mahusay   at   matiyagang   pagtuturo   ng   aming   mga   teachers.   Hinihiling   namin   na   makapag-aral   din   ang   iba   pa naming   mga   kasamahang   Mangyan.   Naniniwala   kami   na   ang   edukasyon   ang   siyang   makapagpapaunlad   sa   aming mga katutubo,” Janet said.
Intex Resources Philippines Inc. 2014