Bukidnon ethnic group leaders convene

Ethnic group leaders convened to require investors and capitalists to secure free, prior and informed consent to ICC’s and IP’s before permits be granted.

During the three-day convention, the tribal leaders drafted an Executive Order strictly requiring investors and capitalists in the province to secure free, prior and informed consent from the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC) and Indigenous People (IP) who shall be affected by their programs and projects before any clearances and/or permits be granted by the concerned municipal or city mayor in their respective local government units.

This is in support to the implementation of Republic Act 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA).

The ethnic leaders made the proposal for the following reasons:

The ancestral domain areas and the Indigenous Peoples in the province have often been exploited by investors and capitalists by suppressing the rights of the indigenous people.

The province is historically identified and recognized as ancestral home to the seven indigenous tribes;

Section 72 and 73 of the IPRA Law states that, “any person who commits violation of any of the provisions of this act, such as, but not limited to, unauthorized and/or unlawful intrusion upon any ancestral lands or domains as stated in section 10, chapter III, or shall commit any of the prohibited acts mentioned in section 21 and 24, Chapter V, Section 33, Chapter VI, shall be punished in accordance with the customary and Indigenous People concerned.

Moreover, the seven (7) ethnic group leaders made a resolution requesting “Datu Ugyaban” Alex P. Calingasan, Provincial Governor, to expedite the application of the free, prior and informed consent in the province.

The Executive Order is currently at the table of the Provincial Legal Officer, Atty. Joefrey C. Sayson for review and study as to any legal impediments on the executive order. (Philippine Information Agency press release)

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