December 2, 2014

A Short Documentary On The Saddening Plight Of The Agta And Dumagat Tribes In Aurora

Development is a double-edged sword. In almost all scenarios, it improves the lives of one party while it tramples upon the other. This is the quandary that Agta and Dumagat tribes in certain areas of Aurora have found themselves in.

A major development project by the government is threatening to turn their lives upside down. In fact the project has already started and so far it has eaten millions upon millions of pesos. But because of corruption, negligence, and ineptitude (among others), the project has been more of a bane than a boon to the indigenous people of Aurora.

Who doesn't want development right? But at what cost? The government is offering the people 50,000 pesos per hectare. They are telling them that once the project is completed, they'll be given jobs like guiding people in the yet-to-be-built parks.

This is not betterment of life. At least on the side of the Agta and Dumagats. Right now, they are living rather freely. From this to guiding tourists around is not improvement, it's demotion. The project has to offer something else other than "tourist-guiding" jobs for it to be really pro-people not one to benefit only the elite.

And it's sad, frightening even to see the buildings and structures that the project already started putting up. They are in states of various ruin. They can't even get the thing started right. The project is turning out to be a huge money leak.

Kudos to the students of St. Scholastica's College Manila for producing this short documentary and shedding some light about what's happening there in Aurora.

Wadi Productions

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