Press Release
January 11, 2014


Sen. Grace Poe seeks a review of state policies pertaining to indigenous peoples (IPs) to ensure genuine protection of their rights and the promotion of their welfare.

In her Senate Resolution 418, Poe cited that poverty, loss of livelihood, discrimination and armed conflicts have forced some IPs, including the Badjaos, to give up their way of life and relocate to urban areas, including Metro Manila.

Poe stressed that Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act aims to recognize and protect the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities and IPs, according to the Constitution. The law established the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

RA 8371 outlines the mechanisms to guarantee the realization of IPs' rights, taking into consideration their customs, traditions, values, beliefs, interests and institutions. The law also seeks to protect IPs' rights to their ancestral domain.

Meanwhile, the Badjaos are said to be the most neglected, excluded, and marginalized among IPs in the country. Many of them can be seen in the cities in pursuit of survival and decent means of livelihood.

Poe cited the need to inquire into the programs of the national government, particularly the NCIP and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, to heighten the protection of Badjaos and other IPs in the country.

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