by Dr. Leilani De Guzman
Through a coordination meeting on held on 22 September 2023, Saint Louis University (SLU) further strengthened its Community Extension Program with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera Administrative Region (NCIP-CAR) and the partner community in Sitio Domolpos, Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet. The willingness and capacity of the Iwak Tribe of Domolpos to embrace coffee tourism while preserving their cultural heritage is a significant undertaking requiring the consent of all parties involved. As such, to strengthen this partnership, NCIP Representatives presented details of the work and financial plan for certification processing, involving a series of steps to safeguard the Indigenous People’s interests. This was followed by a meeting of minds in pursuit of the sustainable goals of the extension program on Coffee Tourism: A Community Development Project of Saint Louis University.
SLU held the said coordination with Domolpos Ansipsip Ancestral Domain Indigenous Peoples Organization (DAADIPO) representatives, a few members of the Iwak Tribe, and NCIP Representatives through the Uni-wide extension program of the School of Accountancy Management Computing and Information Studies (SAMCIS), School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA), and the National Service Training Program (NSTP) entitled “Benguet Coffee Project: A Coffee + Agrotourism+ Social Enterprise+ Community Development Project.” The University was represented by the Extension Program Coordinator, Ms Eliza Joyce Palaroan; together with Ms Glory Dela Peña, Officer- in- Charge of SAMCIS; Ms Charmaine P. Mendoza, the Community Extension and Outreach Programs Office (CEOPO) Director; and faculty from the Department of Hotel and Tourism Management (HTM) and Department of Entrepreneurship, Human Resource and Marketing Management (EHM) faculty, Maria Araceli Tambol and Leilani De Guzman.
This endeavor is in line with the CICM Advocacy of Indigenous Peoples Apostolate, the JEEPGY Value of Engaged Citizenship, and SDG Goals 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and 17 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions).