Kidapawan LGU hailed for IP mass marriage
CITY OF COTABATO – Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) leaders in northern Cotabato on Tuesday congratulated the Kidapawan town government for hosting a mass wedding for IPs and making it part of the anniversary activities of the founding of the city that have just ended.
Datu Camilo Icdang, a Manobo tribal leader, said it was the first time that the city government included a mass wedding for IPs as one of the highlights of the “Timpupo” (harvest) festival on the 12th. to August 18 and the 72nd anniversary of the founding.
A total of 44 Indigenous couples exchanged vows during the traditional wedding rite at the city gymnasium on Sunday, making their marriage legal in the eyes of the law.
“Different IP executives are thrilled with the event as they now feel part of the celebration,” he said in an interview with local radio.
Icdang, the deputy mayor of Kidapawan representing the IPs, said the 44 couples had been living together for several years, as tribal laws allow. Some were lucky enough to have children and grandchildren.
“However, they did not have proof that their marriage was legal and are not registered with the local registrar so that they can be used for legal transactions outside their communities,” he said. he declared.
At the wedding ceremony, he said IPs will now have legal papers they can use to benefit from government services, such as financial aid through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4P) program.
Lack of birth or marriage certificates often prevents tribal families from getting help from PhilHealth when they need medical care.
Icdang said the mass marriage also paved the way for IPs to preserve their tradition and culture.
Mayor Joseph Evangelista, who presided over the wedding ceremony, said the PI mass wedding would be incorporated into the city’s founding anniversary celebration in honor of PIs who were the original inhabitants of Kidapawan. .
Icdang said that some of the couples were already old because their tradition allows a man and a woman to live as husband and wife, as long as the two parties have an agreement and after payment of the dowry in cash or in kind, even without proof. documentary. (ANP)