Press Release
January 14, 2012

Legarda Lauds Creation of Indigenous Peoples Education Office

Senator Loren Legarda today commended the Department of Education (DepEd) for taking a step further in bringing education closer to Filipinos belonging to indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) through the Indigenous Peoples Education Office (IPsEO).

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, said that as a basic right, education should be made accessible to all Filipinos, including members of ICCs, most of which live in far-flung areas.

"I am glad that DepEd came up with the idea of creating the IP Education Office to help effectively implement education programs for IPs. I hope that this will ensure not only the delivery of quality education to our IPs but also the preservation and promotion of their culture and heritage," the Senator stressed.

According to the DepEd, the IPsEO will be responsible for the planning, implementation, coordination and monitoring of the agency's activities and programs on IP education.

Legarda said that this initiative will help open more opportunities for members of indigenous groups.

"We aim to provide equal chances for personal and professional growth to our IP brothers and sisters, which is why I have proposed measures such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, which when enacted into law, would require government offices and private enterprises in areas where members of ICCs are predominantly located, to give preferential employment to IPs, who must constitute at least 10% of their work force," she pointed out.

"But for them to get employed, they should have been educated. Thus, we must guarantee that they have access to quality education to make them competent and competitive in the workplace. We must continue to give our IPs appropriate attention through policies and programs responsive to their needs," Legarda concluded.

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