Indigenous People's Rights Act (IPRA)

Up to 15 per cent of the Philippine population - about ten million people - belong to distinct indigenous communities and retain a close link with their traditions. They avoided Hispanisation during Spain's 350-year colonisation of the Philippines. In 1987, after the fall of the Marcos regime, a revised Philippine Constitution recognised the ancestral land rights of indigenous people, and ten years later, in 1997, those rights finally became law in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.

The Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act (IPRA) is modelled on the provisions of the UN Draft Declaration on Indigenous Peoples' Rights. In theory IPRA is one of the most enlightened laws dealing with Indigenous Peoples, recognising the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous Peoples, and asserting that in the absence of such a clear level of consent, a project cannot proceed. In practice however, this is regularly undermined, not least by legislation such as the 1995 Mining Code, which in many cases gives mining claims to the same Indigenous land supposedly covered by IPRA. Indigenous Peoples communities and organisations, and their supporters, have been vocal in fighting for their legal rights for many years, and the struggle continues.

Philippines - 100 teachers, students blocked in Talaingod

By Rhealyn C. Pojas,
Date of publication: 
28 September, 2015

OVER a 100 teachers, students, and members of a progressive group were allegedly blocked on Monday by the military and some members of paramilitary group recognized by the lumads while on their way to a school in Talaingod, Davao del Norte to attend a founding anniversary and festival.

Save Our Schools (SOS) Network in Southern Mindanao Spokesperson Rius Valle said in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao that 116 persons including 44 elementary and high school students were not able to reach the Salugpongan Ta’tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center since they were blocked by the mili

Addressing Lumad killings and internally displaced people

Source: -
Date of publication: 
9 September, 2015

Rappler talks to Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on how to deal with the alleged human rights violations committed against the Lumad

MANILA, Philippines – Thirteen-year old Lumad Shin Campos saw her father shot in the head twice, allegedly by military and paramilitary elements, on September 1 near their village in Lianga town in Surigao del Sur.

Helpless and traumatized, Shin fled her village with her family and hundreds of other indigenous peoples, trekking for two hours to bring her dead father and another victim to t

Indigenous Peoples commission issues final approval for Iloilo dam

Date of publication: 
30 August, 2015

ILOILO CITY — The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has received the final document needed to proceed with the implementation of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II in Calinog, Iloilo province.

Iloilo’s provincial legal officer, lawyer Dennis T.

Mankayan indigenous folks call on Aquino to reject Lepanto mining application

Date of publication: 
15 August, 2015

“As the affected indigenous peoples community, the exercise of our right to self-determination through the free, prior and informed consent process has been systematically and insidiously curtailed.”

MANILA – Indigenous Cordilleran communities of Mankayan town, Benguet province have been crying foul over the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement that will pave the way for a new mineral agreement for the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMCo), widely blamed by tribal folk for the environmental degradation caused by copper and gold mining in their area since 1936.

The Kankana-e

Iloilo’s P11.2-billion Jalaur dam hurdles consent requirement

By Louine Hope Conserva, Correspondent -
Date of publication: 
13 August, 2015

ILOILO CITY — The National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has given consent for the construction of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II in Calinog, Iloilo.

In an Aug. 11 meeting at the NCIP central office, the Board of Commissioners granted authority to the agency’s chairman, lawyer Leonor T.

UN Special Rapporteur: 100 indigenous peoples protecting environment killed in last 3 years

By Tricia Aquino, -
Date of publication: 
12 August, 2015

MANILA – How are indigenous peoples in the Philippines doing?

Philippine statements on International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples

Various indigenous organisations
Date of publication: 
11 August, 2015

No Recourse but Struggle for Self-Determination

Statement of Cordillera Peoples Alliance on the International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples

9 August 2015

What is the most precious thing to man? Life! If life is threatened, what ought a man do? Fight! This he must do, otherwise he is dishonoured. That will be worse than death. If we do not fight and the dams push through, we die anyway. If we fight, we die honourably. Thus I exhort you all, kayaw (struggle)!

Ifugao tribe snaps at short-circuited consultations for dam project

By: Arthur L. Allad-iw, -
Date of publication: 
11 July, 2015

LAMUT, Ifugao – For more than an hour from the poblacion of this town, we traversed rugged and slippery roads, where a driver’s miscalculation could mean a fatal fall onto the ravines.

It was back-breaking travel for city-based journalist with friends from the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, but our consolation was the beauty of the landscape, the rolling hills, the floating clouds of various shapes, and rivers that surged in between mountains.

Finally we reached our destination – the rich agricultural village of Barangay Dulao, Lagawe of this province.

But juxtaposed again

Aeta tribal leaders assert control on ancestral lands

By Reynaldo G. Navales -
Date of publication: 
4 July, 2015

CLARK FREEPORTLEADERS of the different Aeta tribal groups in Clark have asserted that they are in control of their ancestral lands and not the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) or any other entities.

The Aeta leaders, belonging to the Mabalacat Aeta Tribal Association (Mata) issued the statement in reaction to the work stoppage order issued by the CDC against the proponents of a US$2 million sewerage and sanitary disposal facility in Mabalacat City.

The CDC has issued a cease and desist order against the L.C.

MGB, NCIP stop mining activities in ancestral domain of IPs in Zambo Sur

Date of publication: 
22 June, 2015

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur — The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) jointly issued a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) against mining operations within the Indigenous Peoples (IP) ancestral domain areas in this province.

Timuay Langhap Rio Olimpio Lingating, head of the Subanen tribes, said Monday that covered by the CDO are the mining operations in Barangays Deborok and Lourdes in this city; Barangay Mati, Tigbao; and in Barangays Langapod and Noboran, Labangan.

Lingating’s group is known as the Pikumpungan Subanen Gataw Te

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