The MWSS held its first ever Cultural Sensitivity Training at MWSS Bulwagan Hall together with the representatives of Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWCI) and Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (MWSI). The training, which was unprecedented, was facilitated by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) aiming for participants to acquire basic knowledge of the IP’s culture and identity and become culturally sensitive bearers in the implementation of projects inside the ancestral domains of Dumagat and Remontado Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) of Rizal and Quezon. This workshop is not just intended for the New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam Project (NCWS-KDP) but for all projects where MWSS interacts with ICCs.

The 2-day interactive workshop started with welcoming speech of MWSS DA for Engineering and Technical Operations Group Leonor C. Cleofas followed by opening remarks by Dir. Roberto L. Almonte, Regional Director for NCIP-Region IV. Subsequently, speakers such as Executive Director for NCIP Ed Rogelio Francisco Bantayan Jr., Dr. Angelica Caliba-Cachola, Ma. Theresa Santos, Dr. Carlos P. Buasen, Jr., Dr. Marie Grace T. Pascua gave messages, discussed expectation settings, understanding of IP, basics of culturally responsive projects and presented laws and concepts to ensure familiarization of IPs of their work and daily living routine.

On the second day, sharing on culture of Dumagats and Remontados was the highlight of the workshop, with resource speakers/facilitators Conchita Calzado, Marcelino Tena, Marissa Villa, Angelo Sallidao and Joan Umli using interactive exercises to stimulate the audience and further enhance the learning experience.

Understanding culture and being sensitive about it by a typical Filipino still has a long way to go especially in our country where culture is very diverse. But by respect, open-mindedness and adaptive, compassionate and open attitude to the needs of cultural sensitivity much could be achieved in the area of cultural sensitivity affirming the proposition that a culturally diverse populace could be diverse but yet could act united towards national development.