BAGUIO CITY – The Chairman of the House Committee on indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples (ICCs-IPs) underscored that IPs in the different parts of the country still belong to the marginalized sector of the society amidst the efforts of concerned government agencies to advance the same to a higher level.
Kalinga Representative Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang, Chairman of the House Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and indigenous Peoples, said that IPs nationwide are still confronted by rampant violation of human rights through name-calling and name-tagging among others, displacement from their ancestral domain, snail-paced issuance of the required certificates of ancestral domain titles for individuals and certificates of ancestral domain titles for communities due to lack of funds among other reasons, and the recruitment of the youth to join in violent activities.
He pointed out that the members of the House Committee on Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Cultural Communities have their hands full in trying to work on the institution of reforms, passage of bills among other legislative interventions that will help in elevating the status of IPs nationwide so that they will not remain as marginalized due to the abuses being done on them not only by multinational companies but also their fellow IPs.
The Kalinga lawmaker disclosed that among the pending bills in the House of Representatives is House Bill 639 which seeks for the protection and strengthening of the indigenous peoples and local communities conserved areas, recognizing their contributions to biodiversity conservation, establishing for the purpose the National Indigenous Community Conserved Areas Registry.
He explained that the proposed legislation is in recognition of the IPs as the best people to conserve their land, culture, tradition and heritage.
“We are proud of our cultural rootedness and our rich customs and traditions but the fact remains that indigenous peoples are still marginalized,” Mangaoang stressed.
The congressman served as the guest of honor and speaker during the recently concluded IP month and the 22nd anniversary of the passage of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) twin celebrations that was held at the PFVR Multipurpose Center.
Mangaoang claimed that another important proposed legislation pending in the House committee is the bill seeking the extension of the provision of the IPRA for the processing and issuance of CALTs and CADTs to indigenous peoples in the different parts of the country.
Under the pertinent provisions of the IPRA, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is given two decades to process and issue CALTs and CADTs to indigenous peoples wherein the same expired two years ago, thus, the need to enact another law extending the said power of the agency.
He revealed that the House committee will also initiate the appropriate investigation on the alleged abuses that have been committed against the IPs in the different parts of the country so that the perpetrators of such violations will be dealt with accordingly and prevent the occurrence of similar abuses in the future.