Senate approves IPs Day bill

July 28, 2015

THE SENATE on Tuesday approved on third and final reading a bill that sought to declare Aug. 9 as National Indigenous Peoples Day.
In a statement, Committee on Cultural Communities Senator Loren B. Legarda said that House Bill (HB) 4420 “seeks to recognize and protect the rights of the indigenous people (IP) across the country by dedicating August 9 to their causes.”

The measure’s approval is in line with the United Nations General Assembly’s proclamation of Aug. 9 as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

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

For his part, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said in the same statement that HB 4220’s approval is “part of government efforts to bring greater appreciation and attention to the rights and welfare of the indigenous people in the Philippines.”

According to Ms. Legarda, there are 110 indigenous groups in the Philippines and each one possesses its own traditional knowledge and practices. These communities “shaped our history as a Filipino people,” said Ms. Legarda.

HB 4420 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Indigenous Cultural Communities And Indigenous Peoples Committee Chairperson and North Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco (2nd district) Vice-chairperson Ifugao Rep. Teodoro B. Baguilat, Jr. (lone district), Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda C. Ilagan, Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos Padilla (lone district), Baguio Rep. Nicasio M. Aliping, Jr. (lone district) and Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Sitti Djalia A. Turabin-Hataman.

Source: Business World