On 9-10 October 2013, the Philippines Poverty-Environment Initiative (PPEI), along with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) organized “National Roundtable Discussion (RTD) to Harmonize Local Government Code of 1991 (LGC) and Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA)”.
The said agencies converged to open possible avenues to address issues and concerns regarding the lack of representation and participation of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the political decision making process; conflicting provisions of the laws which prevent the implementation of the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP), and lack of integration of ADSDPP in the formulation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP) and the Comprehensive Development Plans (CDP) of LGUs, among others.
Results of the National RTD are inputs to the draft Joint Memorandum Circular among DILG, NAPC and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) that will primarily harmonize the conflicting provisions of LGC and IPRA, to integrate the mandate of the local governments and the protection of the rights of the IPs in the sustainable utilization of natural resources and environmental management.
“Hopefully, this project will lead to more initiatives towards the end of harmonizing important state policies and programs and lead to better governance,” Prof. Edmund Tayao of Local Government Development Foundation said.
The National RTD was participated in by representatives from DILG, NAPC, IP Sectoral Council, selected local government units, LGU leagues, selected NGOs and development partners.