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PIA Press Release

IP Month celebration focuses on IEC on IPRA

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (10 September) -- The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is 93% Indigenous People (IP) populated and because of this, the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC) has declared the whole month of October as Indigenous People's (IP) Month.

CAR is the only region, in the country that is giving recognition to IPs for a whole month, stressed National Commission for Indigenous People (NCIP-CAR) Technical Management and Service Division head Recto Alawas, in a radio interview.

For the IP celebration, Alawas reiterated NCIP-CAR Regional Director Atty Batay-An's directive that they will be spearheading a simple yet meaningful celebration, as most of their efforts right now will be re-directed towards giving assistance to IPs and Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs), who are heavily affected by the series of typhoons that recently hit the country.

The NCIP will continue to endeavor with their development advocacies and with such, they will be joining Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns on regional autonomy to ensure the inclusion of IP concerns in such development agenda. The NCIP will also be coordinating the conduct of an inter-agency IEC on land tenure instrument among the local government agencies.

Alawas also stressed the importance of having more IEC campaign on the IPRA since many people are still confused with regards to the said law. With this, the NCIP is planning to conduct IEC (on IPRA) on other government agencies, local government units and the communities. Due to limited funds, however, Alawas is encouraging government agencies, LGUs and even local communities to invite them if they have scheduled forums so as they can provide IECs regarding IPRA.

Alawas also stressed the need for clarification about some provisions of the IPRA, who are being considered as controversial, such as the Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC), Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles (CALT) and Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT).

As an example, Alawas cited that under the IPRA, a CADT cannot be sold and a CALT can be sold under several conditions, and with this he also clarified that an ancestral land that was legitimately or legally sold cannot be redeemed even if they use or invoke the IPRA. (PIA) [top]

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