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Burial grounds for indigenous peoples proposed

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The Baguio City Council members will discuss on their regular session today the possibility of establishing an indigenous peoples (IP) burial ground in the region.

It is firmly established that the first inhabitants of the Summer Capital were from Ibaloi, Kankanaey and Kalanguya tribes

In a proposed ordinance, it was stated that it is already a declared policy of the State to recognize, respect and promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities.

The policy aims to preserve and develop their culture, traditions and institutions all within the framework of national unity and development.

The proposed measure seeks to amend the Baguio City Council Resolution 087, series of 2005 that recognizes the burial grounds of the Ibaloi, Kankanaey and the Kalanguya in the city.

The same was approved to recognize the rights of IP to bury their departed loved ones within their ancestral homes located in different parts of the city.

It is firmly established that the first inhabitants of the Summer Capital were from Ibaloi, Kankanaey and Kalanguya tribes.

The author, Councilor Leandro Yañgot, said IP in the Cordillera will be allowed to bury their dead in their ancestral homes but within the jurisdiction of the local government.

Under the proposed ordinance, no remains shall be buried without a death certificate; graves where remains will be buried shall be at least 1.5-meter deep and filled well and firmly.

To further protect the dead, no remains shall be buried in a grave where water table is less than two meters deep from the natural ground surface and no remains shall be buried within 50-meter distance from a water source.

Also, no embalmed dead body shall remain unburied longer than 48 hours after death especially when the death was caused by communicable disease.

Likewise, their burial sites should only be within the premises of the ancestral homes of the said tribes and should not be allowed in densely populated areas.

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