Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Indigenous Peoples (IP) Policy Advocacy Agenda


SALIGAN recognizes and supports the indigenous peoples’ struggle for their right to self-determination.  As such, SALIGAN has identified the following policy issues and concerns:



Existing legislation is insufficient to address indigenous peoples concerns within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao [ARMM]. For one, there is no counterpart legislation in relation to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act [IPRA].  In fact, there is no National Commission on Indigenous Peoples [NCIP] office covering the region.  Consequently, the processing of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title [CADT] or Certificate of Ancestral Land Claims [CALT] claims within the ARMM is not a priority of the NCIP.  Thus, SALIGAN seeks for the passage of a law equivalent to IPRA and the establishment of a NCIP office within the ARMM to promote indigenous peoples rights, especially, in relation to their right to ancestral domain.  At present, SALIGAN is lobbying for the passage of a bill in the Regional Legislative Assembly [RLA] of the ARMM concerning the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples rights.


Conflicting legal provisions regarding ownership and use of land and other resources is another hindrance to the indigenous peoples claim to their ancestral domain.  Together with People’s Alarm and the Alternative Law Groups [ALG], SALIGAN has been lobbying for the passage of a National Land Use Act [NLUA]. SALIGAN and other Mindanao-based members of the ALG made efforts to integrate indigenous peoples issues and concerns in the proposed bill and harmonize such with the IPRA provisions.  SALIGAN and the ALG have also conducted case studies as regards conflicting claims in order to come up with recommendations for the harmonization of laws and to find ways of addressing conflicts in relation to claims, ownership and land use.




Despite existing provisions of law, there appears to be non-recognition of indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms.  One such manifestation is the continuing conflict and/or confusion as to the use of indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms in lieu of the barangay justice system.  To address this issue, SALIGAN has undertaken a research study, together with the ALG, which aims to come up with recommendations as regards Katarungang Pambarangay rules vis-ŕ-vis indigenous peoples.  SALIGAN is also lobbying for the passage of a bill in the RLA for the recognition not only of indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms or the tribal justice system, but also of the customary laws and indigenous system of governance as a whole.




Representation of indigenous peoples in the local government units [LGU] is weak. The IPRA provision on mandatory representation of indigenous peoples in all decision-making bodies is not implemented by most, if not all, LGUs.  The same is true with the local sectoral representation provision of the Local Government Code. For the past several years, SALIGAN, together with Task Force LSR, has been lobbying for the passage of a Local Sectoral Representation [LSR] bill.  And to harmonize said bill with the indigenous peoples’ concerns regarding representation, SALIGAN and other members of the ALG network in Mindanao had several focused group discussions and study sessions on the proposed LSR bill.