TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang is pushing for the establishment of resource centers for indigenous peoples (IPs) to enhance and ensure the delivery of essential services and for the national government to provide the needed funds for the said purpose.
House Bill (HB) 4118 authored by Congressman Mangaoang states that the State recognizes and promotes the rights of IPs within the framework of national unity and development.
Further, the State considers the rights of IPs in the formulation of national laws and policies to ensure the protection of their rights, preservation of their cultural heritage, equal access to basic services and equitable enjoyment of the rights and opportunities granted under the national laws on the equal footing with the other members of the population.
Towards the aforesaid end and taking into consideration the IPs common geographical areas, he pointed out that distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures and other relevant and distinctive characteristics of the IPs, there is a need to establish resource centers in all the ethnographic locations nationwide to enhance the4 delivery of basic services and able the IPs to be recognized and integrated in the government’s participatory programs, projects and activities.
The lawmaker underscored that resource centers for IPs shall be established in strategic places as may be determined by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) taking into consideration the ethnological similarities of the IPs in contiguous or common geographical locations under the jurisdiction of the NCIP.
Mangaoang proposed that the NCIP shall, in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), ensure that the programs and seminars formulated are suitable and relevant to the needs of the IPs.
According to him, the IPs shall determine for themselves the types of skills trainings that are applicable to their circumstances. The NCIP and TESDA shall set the criteria in the hiring of competent instructors and teachers from among the IPs to teach and promote their language to their students, particularly the youth in order to preserve their culture.
Moreover, the NCIP shall ensure that the IPs unique identities are strengthened and preserved in the conduct of the community-driven learning programs and livelihood seminars.
On the other hand, the NCIP shall conduct a review of the implementation of the proposed law and submit to Congress a periodic report every 3 years, reckoned from the effectivity of the law. The review must ascertain the strengths and viability, flaws or limitations, and opportunities for growth and development in the operation of the resource centers. In addition, the review shall also determine the inherent weaknesses in the law and recommend the necessary remedial legislation or executive measures for the sustainability of the centers.
Mangaoang proposed the appropriation of the initial funding requirements for the implementation of the proposed law be charged against the current budget of the NCIP, TESDA and DPWH. Thereafter, such sum as may be necessary for the continued implementation of the law shall be included in the annual general appropriations law.