The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) held a summit on Wednesday, November 16 with various government and Indigenous Peoples (IP) representatives to promote and protect the well-being of Indigenous Cultural Communities/IPs (ICC/IP).
The event, themed “Building Families, Building Ancestral Domains/Ancestral Lands Communities, and Building the Nation,” was held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Officers Pavilion at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
The summit highlighted the role that NCIP and government agencies play in nation building and for the welfare of the country’s ICC/IPs.
NCIP President Allen A. Capuyan said ICC/IPs are “more than ready to partner with the public and private sectors” and that they all share the path to many opportunities for the former.
Meanwhile, PA Rights Law Center President Marlon Bosantog noted in his speech that the framework for the sustainable lifestyle of ICC/PAs is consent.
He encouraged government agencies and other offices to work on the “idea of consent” before going to provide assistance to ICC/IPs.
“The source of discrimination begins with the word ‘tulungan natin ang mga IP kawawa naman sila’ (The source of discrimination begins with the word ‘let’s help IPs because they are pitiful’),” he said. .
Bosantog added that even before the concept of “sustainable development” appeared, IPCs/IPs were already working on it themselves.
“I hope that when you talk about your policies for inclusive growth, you will think of us. When you talk about peace and order, you think of us. Because at the end of the day, the values of the nation, the values of this country, will always be reflected in how we treat Indigenous people,” Bosantog said.
Nearly 18 million of the total Filipino population are made up of ICC/IP and occupy more than 30% of the total area of the country.
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