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Manila – Under the Moral Recovery Program, members of the Institute for Labor Studies Employees Association (ILSEA), headed by Acting President Marc Raphael A. Peñaredondo, engaged in the “LakbAYTA Outreach Program aimed at providing materials for the repair and construction of the classroom of the Ayta learners in Patal Anawo, Maguisuis, Botolan, Zambales last 21-22 December 2021.

After the pandemic struck last March 2020 lockdown, ILSEA has been aware of the heightened need for support to various marginalized communities while being cautious not to expose employees to COVID-19, and duly limited the program to employee representatives from the different divisions.

During the two-day visit, ILS employees were introduced to the community and its learners. A focus group discussion was also conducted with Ayta leaders from which ILS employees gathered valuable information on issues that they could use for future research endeavors.

In coordination with the Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila’s Community Outreach and Service-Learning Office or COSEL, the Institute also turned over refurbished tables, chairs, laptops, computers peripherals and other office equipment to the community to aid them with their distance learning, and donated funds generously shared by ILS employees to purchase materials for building a school within their community.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held where the Lyceum Manila delegates thanked the support provided by ILSEA and hoped to continue to collaborate in bridging the education accessibility gap among indigenous peoples. The residents of Patal Anawo also expressed their gratitude through their sharing of sacks of camotes and bananas to the ILS delegates.

IPs experience living in far remote areas with lack of access to basic social services, education, and economic opportunities. With the pandemic, IPs are affected in terms of loss of livelihoods, stranded in communities with limited access to food, education, basic health services or testing for COVID-19. The LPU-COSEL office has been providing assistance to Dumagat and Aeta learners through education programs in collaboration with different stakeholders including DepED and NCIP.