Indigenous Peoples Need Support, Says Solon

Manila Bulletin, September 25, 2010 | Go to article overview

Indigenous Peoples Need Support, Says Solon


LAGAWE, Ifugao - A lawmaker lamented Saturday that while the Philippines has one of the more progressive policies on the protection of indigenous peoples rights in the world, many of this marginalized sector's needs have not been addressed by government.Ifugao Representative Teodoro B. Baguilat, Jr., who chairs the House Committee on Indigenous Peoples, said the problem lies in complications that hinder the application of the full provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous peoples Rights Act (IPRA).To illustrate the struggle of indigenous peoples, Baguilat cited records showing that despite the 13-year-old IPRA, only 45 certificates of ancestral land titles (CALTs) have been issued covering over 874,000 hectares which are owned by the indigenous peoples in various parts of the country.He said that 16 percent of the country's population are considered to be members of indigenous cultural communities or indigenous peoples but only 2 percent of the country's 30-million-hectare land area is recognized as ancestral domain.Baguilat said that instead of removing such obstacles in the implementation of IPRA, the creation of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) allegedly even worsened the situation.The first-term lawmaker said government must take an active role in trying to patch up the problems brought about by complications in the implementation of the provisions of IPRA. …

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