To celebrate Indigenous Peoples Month in October, Tri-Term Senator and Vice President Loren Legarda highlighted the important role of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICC/IPs) in nation building and as partners in the conservation of our protected areas. .
“As we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Month this year, may we remember the overwhelming contributions of our IPs to our history, culture and heritage that have shaped our identity as Filipinos. This is an opportune time to honor the bearers of our culture and heritage,” Legarda said.
As a legislator, Legarda sponsored Republic Act No. 10689, declare August 9 National Intellectual Property Day to coincide with the international observance.
In addition, Legarda also highlighted the vital role of CPIs/PAs as partners in the conservation and preservation of protected areas that fall within their ancestral domains, as provided for in Bill 639, or the “Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas Act of 2019” that she filed at the start of her tenure as representative of the Lonely District of Antique.
“Indigenous communities have always played an important role in the conservation and preservation of the country’s protected areas. Known as Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs), these are areas belonging to ancestral domains, including lakes, coastal seas, forests and watersheds, imbued with deep spiritual and cultural values. for our indigenous peoples,” said Legarda.
An example of APAC is the ancestral domain of the Tagbanuas in Coron Island in northeast Palawan where only traditional fishing methods are permitted in its ancestral waters given the sacred nature of the place among the Tagbanuas. Legarda said it is high time for the national government to give due importance to the role of IPs in the conservation of protected areas.
“This IP month is a constant reminder for all of us to ensure that we provide the necessary support to our IPs to strengthen their contribution to nation building. We must start by protecting their ICCAs and their ancestral domains. As civil servants, we should also develop measures that will enhance the rights of our IPs as we continue to protect and preserve our culture and heritage,” Legarda said.
Legarda also spearheaded the establishment of the National Museum’s Baybayin Gallery and the Manlilikha ng Bayan Gallery. She engaged in efforts to revive the centuries-old tradition of weaving, establishing the country’s first permanent textile gallery, Hibla ng Lahing Filipino at the National Museum; directing the Hibla traveling exhibition which has already reached Portugal, Madrid, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Singapore and Geneva, among others. Legarda has also introduced Bill No. 7811, or the “Indigenous Peoples Traditional Property Act” in the House of Representatives to prevent possible abuse, misappropriation or diversion. the exploitation of the cultural heritage of our intellectual property.
In 2016, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) recognized Legarda’s invaluable contribution in protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and in preserving and promoting traditional culture and arts. During the celebration of Dayaw: International Festival of Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines 2016, Legarda received the “Gawad Katutubong Pagkalinga” award. In the same year, the NCCA also conferred on Legarda its highest honor, the Dangal ng Haraya Patron of Arts and Culture, in recognition of all its efforts to preserve and promote Filipino culture, and all the assistance it has provided. brought to the different indigenous communities.
All photos were taken before the pandemic.
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