To celebrate Indigenous Peoples Month in October, Senator and Three-Term Vice-President Loren Legarda highlighted the important role of Indigenous Cultural Communities / Indigenous Peoples (ICC / IP) 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 the right time to honor the bearers of our culture and our heritage, ”said Legarda.
As a legislator, Legarda sponsored Republic Law No. 10689, declaring August 9 National Intellectual Property Day to coincide with the international celebration.
In addition, Legarda also underlined the vital role of ICCs / IPs as partners in the conservation and preservation of protected areas that fall under their ancestral domains, as provided for in Bill 639, or the Law on conserved areas of indigenous peoples and local communities. of 2019 ”which she deposited at the beginning of her mandate as representative of the solitary 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 Communities Conserved Areas (ICCAs), these are areas located in ancestral domains, including lakes, coastal seas, forests and watersheds, steeped in deep spiritual and cultural values. for our indigenous peoples, ”said Legarda.
An example of ICCA is the ancestral domain of the Tagbanuas on the island of Coron northeast of Palawan where only traditional fishing methods are allowed in its ancestral waters given the sacred nature of the place among the Tagbanuas. Legarda said it was high time the national government gave due importance to the role of IPs in the conservation of protected areas.
“This Intellectual Property 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 public servants, we also need to craft measures that will enhance the rights of our IPs as we continue to protect and preserve our culture and heritage, ”said Legarda.
Legarda also led the creation of the Baybayin Gallery of the National Museum and the Manlilikha ng Bayan Gallery. She embarked on 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 traveling Hibla exhibition which has already reached Portugal, Madrid, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Singapore and Geneva, among others. Legarda also tabled Bill No. 7811, or the “Law on Traditional Property of Indigenous Peoples” in the House of Representatives in order to prevent possible misuse, misappropriation or 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: Philippine International Indigenous Peoples Festival 2016, Legarda received the “Gawad Katutubong Pagkalinga” award. In the same year, the NCCA also awarded Legarda its highest honor, the Dangal ng Haraya Patron of Arts and Culture, in recognition of all her efforts to preserve and promote Filipino culture, and all the help she has given. to the various indigenous communities.
All photos were taken before the pandemic.
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