Additional gov’t agency for IPs sought-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
MANILA -- Two authors are proposing the creation of a Department of Indigenous Peoples (DIP) to further protect and promote the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities or Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs).
The proposed department would boost the functions of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), said Representatives Nancy Catamco (North Cotabato) and Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr. (Ifugao).
Catamco and Baguilat Jr. are the proponents of the proposal embodied in House Bill 6543.
“A department specifically created for such purpose can further strengthen such formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs for ICCs/IPs,” Catamco said.
The proposed DIP, which shall be headed by a secretary to be appointed by the President, shall provide social welfare services to ICCs/IPs, including social work assistance, legal assistance, and cultural services.
It shall also establish regional, provincial, city and municipal branches and field offices whenever and wherever it may be expedient or necessary, and to supervise such branches.
The DIP shall also:
• Perform quasi-judicial and allied functions and settle conflict;
• Collect and maintain records and facilitate research relating to rights and cultural heritage of ICCs/IPs;
• Promote public awareness and insure proper dissemination of information on understanding of indigenous rights and cultural heritage; and
• Implement relevant provisions of international treaties and agreements. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)