MANILA – The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) renewed its commitment to correct injustices suffered by the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) as it celebrates the 23rd Year of Republic Act (RA) 8371, or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997, this October.
“The NCIP is sending a strong statement this year of correcting injustices long suffered by the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs),” according to the press release issued on Thursday.
The NCIP also pushes further for the recognition of 36 rights of the IPs from the four bundles of rights enshrined in RA 8371 “whose protection and fulfillment never gained as much urgency and traction as the past two years under President Rodrigo Duterte and the current NCIP Chairperson, Allen A. Capuyan.”
This year’s celebration of the IPRA has the theme, “Correcting Historical Injustices for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Welfare”, with the 133 IP groups in the country, other government agencies, local government units, international organizations, development partners, and other stakeholders “tirelessly rooting and working for the recognition, promotion, protection, and fulfillment of the rights and well-being of our indigenous peoples.”
The NCIP kicked off the month-long celebration by holding a virtual opening program on Thursday that gave an opportunity for a direct dialogue with the ICCs/IPs across the country, the NCIP and other government agencies, and officials of various stakeholders and international partners on the historical injustices suffered by our indigenous peoples and on the evolution and ramifications of the IPRA as landmark legislation.
The challenges that indigenous peoples in the Philippines continue to face have been discussed during the opening activity.
The promotional and advocacy initiatives will be stepped up through online campaign activities and drumbeating through appropriate infographics and video teasers to inform the public of this year’s celebration despite the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Information on various culture-related contests and performances, as well as the Search for IP Ambassadors who can help in the continuing advocacies, will likewise be announced during the kick-off program. (PR)