The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has vowed to address various issues among Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities in the country.
As the country celebrates the 2020 Indigenous Peoples Month this October and the 23rd anniversary of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act or the IPRA law of 1997 on October 29, NCIP Chairperson Allen Capuyan shared his experiences visiting IP communities across the country.
Capuyan, during the opening event for the commemoration of the passage of the IPRA Law on October 1, 2020, said he visited 110 ancestral domains in Mindanao from August to October of this year.
“This is to personally witness the actual situation and hear from them so we know how to address their issues and problems and help in laying out the plans so we could better serve our IP brothers and sisters,” Capuyan said in Filipino.
In his speech, Capuyan said that the issues and data he gathered were directly relayed to him by the IP leaders.
“Ang mga pangkaraniwang isyu sa ating mga katutubong kumunidad ay walang farm to market roads; may kakulangan sa scholarship para sa kabataang katutubo; talamak na bentahan ng lupa sa mga lupaing ninuno; may mga umiiral na ilegal na gawain ng mga IP migrants sa loob ng lupaing ninuno; kulang ang suporta o pondo para sa CADT (Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles) delineation; pakikialam ng mga pulitiko at makapangyarihang personalidad sa pagpili ng IPMR (Indigenous People Mandatory Representative); pag-issue ng CLOA (Certificate of Land Ownership Award) ng DAR (Depatment of Agrarian Reform) sa loob ng lupaing ninuno; pagpatay sa ating mga kapatid na katutubo o IP killings; mga pending na aplikasyon ng CADT; pagpasok sa lupaing ninuno ng mga negosyante at mga proyekto na walang FPIC (free prior and informed consent) ; at marami pang iba (Among the issues involving our IP communities is the lack of farm to market roads; lack of scholarship grants for young IP’s; the practice of selling ancestral domains; illegal activities by IP migrants inside the ancestral domains; lack of support funding for the CADT delineation; intrusion of politicians and powerful personalities in selecting the IPMR; the issuance of CLOA by DAR inside the ancestral domain; IP killings; pending applications of CADT; the entry of businessmen and projects inside the ancestral domain without the FPIC; among others),” he said.
Capuyan assured the IP communities that the NCIP will take into consideration all these issues in discussing appropriate plans and realistic programs that will truly address the problems towards the goal of the IP communities.
He added that the agency will further improve the implementation of its mandate to help correct the historical injustices experienced by the IP’s.
Capuyan also encouraged all the IP communities in the country to participate in the different activities in line with the IP Month and the IPRA anniversary. (Marita Moaje, PNA)