Indigenous Peoples (IP) leaders and advocates from the ono-Moro tribes of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the various ethno-linguistic groups in the Cordillera crafted a 9-point policy road map that aims to amplify their political participation and empowerment.
The said framework outlines key recommendations spanning representation, recognition and rights, with a resolute focus on inclusivity, self-determination, and preserving traditional wisdom.
Further, the road map envisions an enriched future where indigenous voices resonate in governance and policy, fostering a harmonious tips try of heritage and advancement.
One of the policy agenda that was identified is the proposed enhancement of political representation through the indigenous political structure through the harmonization and strengthening of existing laws, rules and regulations governing the said structures where it encompasses self-governance rights, traditional leadership recognition and meaningful engagement in decision-making processes as inspired by the Indigenous peoples Rights Act (IPRA).
Another policy agenda identified by the IP champions was on ancestral domain protection and management where there is a need for concerned government agencies to create a streamlined and effective procedure for the delineation and issuance of certificate of ancestral domain titles, incorporating the knowledge of indigenous communities, government entities and pertinent stakeholders.
The IPs also called on the strict adherence to the requisite free and prior informed consent (FPIC) by harmonizing all encompassing directives for the implementation of the FPIC process across diverse sectors and scenarios where it must delineate the necessary stage, specified timeframes, and assigned roles to acquire and uphold the sanctity of the said process.
Further, the IPs also want the eventual mainstreaming indigenous knowledge systems and practices within agencies through the possible integration of the said methodology across various subjects and grade levels in the basic education curriculum aside from ensuring the offering of similar subjects in the higher level of education among others.
According to the IP leaders and advocates, there should be the empowerment of all sectors, particularly the indigenous peoples, for their engagement in climate action by incorporating the implementation of indigenous practices in resource conservation, forest management among others.
Part of the 9-point policy agenda include addressing human rights violations by ensuring the active involvement of the barangay human rights action team in dealing with reports on human rights violations committed in the smallest political subdivision and prevent the possible occurrence of red tagging of IP rights advocates.
The Cordillera IP leaders and advocates strongly supported the fast tracking the enactment of the non-Moro indigenous peoples code in the BARMM.
Moreover, the IPs vowed to help in the downstream and upstream lobby for the passage of the proposed law seeking the establishment of the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) in the present Congress considering that the clamor for regional autonomy among Cordillerans is now snowballing that warrants the appropriate law to make the regional government operational in the future.
The IP leaders and advocates also recognized the need to empower indigenous youth and women by ensuring their representation to regional and national bodies aside from the mandatory youth representation in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), local youth development council among others.