January 29, 2023

Cordillera lawmakers have demanded for a thorough review of the learning materials published for the Department of Education in light of the ethnic slurs against Igorot as contained in learning modules.
In a resolution, Reps. Allen Jesse Mangaoang of Kalinga, Maximo Dalog, Jr. of Mountain Province, Eric Go Yap of Benguet, Solomon Chungalao of Ifugao, and Elias Bulut, Jr. of Apayao have condemned the erroneous portrayals of Igorots in textbooks, learning modules, and other instructional materials.  
With this, the lawmakers called on the DepEd to cause the immediate correction of any text which depicts in a discriminatory way the Igorots and other indigenous peoples’ groups in the country.
Recently, some learning modules and instructional materials containing erroneous information and portrayal of Igorots have circulated online drawing flak from various ethnolinguistic groups in the Cordillera.
The representatives said the portrayals and descriptions of the Igorots have alarmed, offended, and annoyed the people of the region.  
“Through this incorrect information, Igorots continue to suffer discrimination and if not immediately corrected, erroneous notion of mainstream Filipinos about the Igorots or indigenous peoples of the Cordillera will be perpetuated and may result to further discrimination and abuse,” the resolution reads.
The lawmakers said it is the responsibility of DepEd to create learning materials that eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding, and good relations among the IPs and segments of the society.  
Also, they asked the authors and publishers of erroneous materials to withdraw them from circulation and to make the necessary corrections even as they urged the concerned authors to consult with the appropriate agencies and indigenous cultural communities to stop the misleading notion.
The Benguet provincial board also passed a resolution urging DepEd to be culturally-sensitive in the contents of its modules and other learning resources being prepared and used in schools.  
“These Department of Education-sanctioned modules and other learning resources are not helping the efforts to eradicate discrimination against the indigenous peoples but it further espouse prejudice to the indigenous peoples by depicting inferior traits to these peoples,” the resolution reads.
DepEd, in a statement, said one of the modules circulating is part of a locally-developed document and that it was already quality-checked by the field offices involved and was not distributed to the students. 
“Discrimination should not have a place in our society. Our journey to ensure that our education promotes equality and respect for each other still has a long way to go and the department is committed to do its part to eliminate discriminatory practices in schools and offices,” the agency said. – Ofelia C. Empian