Legarda Consults IPs of Mindanao in Regional Assembly

In a bid to ensure that pending legislations related to indigenous peoples (IPs) will effectively respond to their needs, Senator Loren Legarda will lead today a gathering of leaders of various indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) in Mindanao for a consultation at the Provincial Capitol of Davao del Norte in Tagum City.

Legarda said that she saw the need to bring the inquiry of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities outside the four halls of the Senate to gather the views of ICCs on the Committee’s priority measures and help address their needs through legislation and other initiatives.

“I have visited various provinces and communities in our country, and every visit leads to a discovery of the rich heritage of the indigenous peoples—your intricately woven fabrics, the songs, chants and dances that narrate the story of your ancestors, and the distinct way of life you strive to preserve,” she explained.

“These encounters brought in me a surge of great pride for our heritage that is enriched by every indigenous cultural community. And it is this endeavor to promote this cultural inheritance and improve the welfare of its stewards that inspired me to gather you here today. A regional assembly such as this is the right venue to have a clear understanding of your needs and concerns,” the Senator stressed.

Legarda said that like the Luzon IP Assembly, the Mindanao IP Assembly aims to strengthen the voices of the IP leaders as they engage in dialogue with local and national policy-makers as well as international institutions.

Among the Mindanao IP groups participating in the Tagum City assembly are the Bajao, Subanen, Kalibugan, Yakari, Bukidnon, Umayamnon, Manobo, Matigsalog, Higa-onon, Mandaya, Bagobo, Mansaka, Dibabawon, Ata, Sama, Manguangan, B’laan, Tagacaolo, T’boli, Aromanen, Kulamanen, and the Teduray.***