Legarda: 2nd National IP Summit to Highlight Strengths, Concerns of IPs

September 2, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the 2nd National Indigenous Peoples Cultural Summit will be a venue where IPs will not only raise their pressing concerns but also be engaged in improving policies and programs that will benefit indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) in the country.


“The main goal of this event is to ensure that the programs of our government and the laws we craft are attuned with the distinctive needs of our IPs. This is a venue where our IPs can engage in dialogue with government agencies, civil society organizations, academe and the donor community,” said Legarda.


The 2nd National IP Cultural Summit, which will be held from September 2-5, 2014, was organized by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in partnership with Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities. Following the opening program today is a three-day intercultural exchange or workshop that will engage IPs in policy and program development, implementation and evaluation of programs for IPs and ICCs.


The Senator noted that basic services remain wanting in most geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. Further, the reported serious human rights violations, displacement from ancestral domain and destruction of natural environment and cultural values are among serious concerns.


“It is for these reasons that we continue to fight for policies and programs that would give our IPs the respect, recognition and opportunities due them. In coordination with the NCIP, I filed Senate Bill No. 2209 that will create resource centers for IPs. The centers shall serve as access centers to enhance delivery of basic, social, technical and legal services,” said Legarda.


She added that other bills relevant to IPs include the Ethnic Origin Act that aims to provide accurate and disaggregated data on IPs through a clear definition of ethnicity, which is included in the national census of the Philippine Statistics Authority; the Traditional Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, which seeks to make an inventory of all cultural properties and mandates the payment of royalties to IPs for the use of their cultural properties; and the Baybayin Act, which will mandate government offices to use Baybayin in their official logos in order to preserve and promote the Philippine traditional scripts.


“As we continue to promote measures that will benefit our indigenous communities, we urge our IPs to likewise continue to fight for their rights and to always protect our cultural heritage,” said Legarda.


“I hope that this National IP Cultural Summit, through the active involvement of our IPs, leads us to a clearer path on how we can confront the challenges and effectively build policies to protect the knowledge systems and practices of our indigenous peoples, provide them with more opportunities for growth and development, and to further promote our culture and heritage,” Legarda concluded.