IN CELEBRATION of the international day, different Lumad (Indigenous People) groups in the region are united in commemoration.
The Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA), with its partners, will lead simple celebrations at the People's Park on Thursday, August 10, to commemorate the day for Lumads.
Windel Bolingit, chairperson of the CPA said "we stand in solidarity with all indigenous peoples of the world in celebrating World Indigenous Peoples' Day, in assertion of our right to self-determination, identity and culture."
The Cordillera News Agency (CNA), a private organization, meanwhile is in the midst of completing a manual on reportage for IP in the country.
CNA has immersed in seven indigenous peoples groups covering the entire Luzon getting the protocol from the Bago’s of Ilocos Region, the Ibanag’s of Cagayan Valley, the Aeta’s of Mt. Pinatubo area and the Ilongots of the Aurora Province in Central Luzon, the Mangyan’s of Mindoro and the Tagbanua’s of Palawan in Mimaropa, as well as the group in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The country has an estimated 14 to 17 million Indigenous Peoples (IPs) belonging to 110 ethno-linguistic groups. They are mainly concentrated in Northern Luzon (Cordillera Administrative Region, 33 percent) and Mindanao (61 percent), with some groups in the Visayas area.
The CPA said big mining and energy corporations continue to violate indigenous peoples’ rights through the circumvention of existing laws, government incompetence and corruption.
Even the mechanism of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is being used to manipulate the entry of mining, energy and other destructive projects into ancestral territories.
The CPA added with or without the FPIC provision in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, indigenous communities have an inherent right to oppose and never allow the entry of these projects that will cause severe devastation over our lands.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on August 10, 2017.
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