Monday, March 21, 2011

Philippine indigenous peoples convene to affirm common policy agenda

QUEZON CITY, Philippines - Some 150 indigenous peoples from all over the country arrived in Manila for a three-day national summit to affirm the national indigenous peoples’ policy agenda and formulate a common action plan which is crucial in upholding their rights.

The policy agenda and action plan will represent the sector’s major recommendations to the legislative and executive sectors.

“Indigenous peoples’ organizations, advocates, and network formations come together to assert on the IP agenda which is rooted in, and respond to, the indigenous peoples’ situations on the grounds,” said Piya Macliing Malayao, of Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, a national alliance of organizations of indigenous peoples.

“This is another venue for indigenous peoples to articulate their aspirations as a people, and translate these into government policy and reform,” said Congressman Teddy Baguilat, who is from the Tuwali tribe of Ifugao and representative of the lone congressional district of Ifugao.

“In a democratic society, the future does not need to be claimed, it is yours,” said United Nations Development Programme country representative Renaud Meyer in his welcome remarks.

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