Jul 24, 2013
The Philippines is a culturally diverse country with an estimated 14- 17 million Indigenous Peoples (IPs) belonging to 110 ethno-linguistic groups. They are mainly concentrated in Northern Luzon (Cordillera Administrative Region, 33%) and Mindanao (61%), with some groups in the Visayas area. The Philippine Constitution, in recognition of this diversity and under the framework of national unity and development, mandates state recognition, protection, promotion, and fulfillment of the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Further, Republic Act 8371, also known as the “Indigenous Peoples Rights Act” (1997, IPRA), recognized the right of IPs to manage their ancestral domains; it has become the cornerstone of current national policy on IPs.