Researchers from State Universities and Higher Education Institutions in Caraga converged on April 6, Thursday at the Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) audio-visual room to plan out on documenting Traditional Knowledge on Health of the Indigenous People in the region.

Spearheaded by Caraga Health Research Development Consortium (CHRDC) of the Department of Science and Technology, the activity aimed to come up researches which focus on the documentation of traditional knowledge in the aspect of health of the Indigenous People in Caraga.

Among the researchers who participated come from Agusan Sur State College of Agricultural Technology (ASSCAT), Butuan Doctors’ College (BDC), Caraga State University (CSU), Father Saturnino Urios Univrsity (FSUU), Philippine Normal University (PNU), Saint Paul University (SPU), Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT), Surigao del Sur State University (SDSSU), Saint Joseph Institute of Technology (SJIT) and the Butuan City Library.

Dr. Isidro Sia, father of Traditional Knowledge on Health and professor of the University of the Philippines – Manila, emphasized the need to focus more on creating solutions to improve the health of Indigenous people. “There is little research on the medical practices of the Indigenous People. We need to strengthen this, especially that we have lots of IP tribes in the country, particularly in the Caraga Region,” Dr. Sia said.

Dr. Isidro Sia explains the importance of research on Indigenous People in the Philippines. 

The discussion with the researchers showed that there are about 6 major Indigenous Communities in Caraga. Among which are the Higaonon, Mamanwa, Agusan Manobo, Manobo, Higaonon and the Banwaon.

According to Dr. Sia, researchers need not limit their documentation on the Traditional Knowledge on Health of Indigenous People. They may document traditional knowledge on the health of Ethnolinguistic groups in the region such as the Butuanons and Higaonons of Agusan, the Surigaonons of Surigao del Norte, the Cantilanons, Tampaganon and Kamayo of Surigao del Sur.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) also invited the researchers to submit more proposals under their Traditional Knowledge on Health (TKH) Program. TKH advocates for the preservation of traditional knowledge on health since previous documentations are not yet enough to cover the depth and breadth of Philippine traditional knowledge and health practices. It also capacitates researchers in the documentation, dissemination and utilization of traditional knowledge in health, and encourages indigenous people to be a part of the health research process.

TKH is a research program of DOST, in partnership with the Department of Health, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Intellectual Property Rights Office, National Museum, Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The program also includes a digital library on Philippine Traditional Knowledge on health which is considered to be the knowledge bank for traditional health practices of indigenous and cultural communities in the Philippines. The digital library can be accessed through the website:

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