The publication and circulation of books containing alleged misinformation about the Cordillera and the indigenous people living in the region was not evaluated and authorized by the Cordillera office of the Department of Education (DepEd).
This was revealed by DepEd-Cordillera officer-in-charge May Eclar. She said the matter on the controversial publications in books that contained misinformation about the Cordillera and IPs were already brought to the attention of the agency’s Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR) for the conduct of the required investigation and to look into how the matter will be eventually corrected by the ones that published the questionable books.
“We learned that the publication and circulation of the said books were privately done, that is why it was not actually evaluated and passed upon by our experts in the agency. We hope that something will be done by our officials in the central office to have the sensitive matters corrected to prevent misconception about the Cordillera and IPs living in the region,” Eclar stressed.
Earlier, Cordillera officials and IP elders in the region raised an uproar over the contents of some published and circulated books that Igorots are Aetas and vice versa among others which have caused confusion to those people having read the incorrect information in the said publications.
Eclar said that the education department has a policy that all books that will be published for educational purposes and will be distributed in public schools around the country must first be reviewed and evaluated by BLR experts to address whatever wrong information that are contained in the said printed materials before the same will be given the go-signal to be printed and published.
The DEpEd official admitted that the BLR has no jurisdiction over the initiatives of private individuals and companies to have books printed, thus, whatever incorrect information contained in the books were not passed upon by the experts in the agency that resulted to the problems about the Cordillera and the IPs living in the region.
She explained that the BLR will coordinate with the individuals and companies that were instrumental in the publication of the printed materials so that the matters could be threshed out and if possible, the said errors will be corrected by the publishers to give justice to the region and the IPs who were obviously maligned by the incorrect contents.
Eclar claimed that the publication of the wrong information about the Cordillera and the IPs will definitely serve as a lesson for the agency to be strict in evaluating and assessing the contents of public and private printed materials for education reference so that the present and future generations of Filipinos will be taught the right information about geography and their fellow Filipinos so that there will be no misconception about any tribe around the country.
She appealed for utmost understanding by the Cordillerans on the matter because the agency is doing its part to effectively and efficiently address the issue. BAGUIO PIO / ABN