1st time for Aetas in remote sitio to have water, health facilities
    Funded by Koreans, local university

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    PORAC, Pampanga – Gov. Lilia Pineda and former president 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led Friday the opening and blessing of the first deep-well pump and health and hygiene facilities in the Aeta upland community of Sitio Pidpid, Sapang Uwak here.

    The facilities, costing about P175,000, was a joint project of the Holy Angel University (HAU) and Kkottongnae University (KU) in Korea under the auspices of the Academy Partnership Program of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), an international overseas development agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea.

    KU dean for planning and director of Catholic Global Education Dr. Eun-MI Yang said that aside from undertaking research activities, the project also aims to “study the health and hygiene levels and needs of the Aeta community in Sitio Pidpid and create and implement a health education program for them.”

    Pineda thanked Yang, Roberto Tantingco, vice-president for student services and affairs of HAU, and other HAU officials for the project that will benefit some 75 Aeta families or 300 individuals in the sitio.

    She said the provincial government “acknowledged the initiatives of HAU and KU in advocating the cause of the Aeta community in Sitio Pidpid.”

    “It’s my first time to visit this community. From now on, the provincial government will help our Korean partners to provide the needs of the Aetas in Sitio Pidpid,” the governor said.

    Meanwhile, Arroyo announced that the land titles of Aetas in this town are already available in the National Commission for Indigenous People (NCIP).

    She said she had filed a bill in the Congress to amend the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA law) to give IPs the right to subdivide the mother title based on what is appropriate and convenient for them.

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