Legarda: Indigenous youth serve essential role in future

August 9, 2023

In commemorating National Indigenous Peoples’ Day today, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda asserted the importance of the next generation of indigenous peoples as agents of self-determination.

Legarda, the principal sponsor of Republic Act 10689, or An Act Declaring August 9 as National Indigenous Peoples Day, said that the indigenous youth hold the key to preserving their culture.

“Amidst the threat posed by various factors such as climate change and injustice, the indigenous youth must have a voice that could be heard so that change may be implemented for the better,” underscored Legarda.

“The use of technology and developing new skills to offer solutions is crucial for preserving their way of living and to help mitigate the effects of climate change, and building bridges with the past and future generations,” she added.

To help with addressing the needs of indigenous peoples in the country, Legarda has filed numerous measures in her many years serving as a lawmaker.

During the 19th Congress, she filed Senate Bill 831, or the Indigenous Community Conserved Territories and Areas Act; SB 838, or the Resource Centers for Indigenous Peoples Act; SB 839, or the Traditional Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act; SB 1340, or the Philippine Indigenous Games Preservation Act; and SB 1841 or An Act Amending Republic Act No. 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

The four-term senator also pushed for the Senate’s concurrence on the agreement between the Philippines and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on establishing a Southeast Asian Center for Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA CLLSD), which seeks to develop and provide appropriate learning to underserved members of the population, such as indigenous peoples.

According to Legarda, she will continue to champion the cause of indigenous peoples by helping pass bills into law that would benefit them.

“The indigenous people hold an important role in the development of our nation as a whole; it is our duty to thank them by treating them with importance and respect,” explained Legarda.

August 9 was also declared as International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations, under the title of ‘Indigenous youth as agents of change for self-determination.’ (end)