National Commission on Indigenous Peoples’ Secretary Allen Capuyan advocates the increase of indigenous people (IP) representation at meetings held by the United Nations, citing that it will help reverse the systematic marginalization and exclusion it is suffering. He added that this will also harness the IP’s role in nation building.
To date, there are over 4,000 IP Mandatory Representatives in local decision-making bodies in the country.
At a virtual meeting held on 16 July, Capuyan cited the government’s conscious efforts on the matter, including the familiarization of IP in UN meetings through the UN Web TV, facilitation of direct virtual dialogue between the IP and UN representatives. Capuyan added that it is also striving to have diligent consultations with the IP to ensure that the country’s position reflects the same views and interests.
The Philippines is one of the first countries in the region to legally recognize the rights of IP through the landmark Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997. In 2007, UN adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.