A Call to Action Against The Exploitation of Filipino Indigenous People

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There are over 117 ethnolinguistic tribes in our country, or over 14% of the Philippines’ total population. In order to protect and acknowledge the rights of these indigenous people (IP), the government signed the Indigenous People Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997. It entitled the tribes with their ownership of the different resources that is inherent to them even during the era of their ancestors. However, because of the different issues concerning commercialization, indigenous peoples are currently striving hard to fight for their ancestral lands.

We, Esai Sañosa and Noelle Mejia, are strongly against these corporate exploitations of the indigenous people of the Philippines. The country has a rich diversity of tribes that reside in different areas within, but as the issue of commercialization arises, their lands, talents, and resources are jeopardized in exchange of the profit that awaits the capitalists.

In order for us to address this matter, we believe that there is a need to fortify and reinforce the IPRA of 1997, which would also help the tribes regain the harmony and tranquility that they originally grew up with.

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