HB 115 to empower IP communities, nurture biodiversity


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, September 13 (PIA) — To empower and recognize the contributions of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) in biodiversity conservation and protection, House Bill 115 is being pushed for implementation in the country and the world. 

Authored by Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, HB 115 or the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Act of 2016 aims to pursue sustainable development, recognition of the rights of ICCs/IPs, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

“Kung sa iba ito (resources) ay trabaho lamang, sa kanila (IPs) ito ay buhay (For others, caring for the resources is just part of their job, but for the IPs, this is life),” Baguilat said. 

HB 115 Forum in CDO
Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, author of the HB 115 or the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Act of 2016, says the bill aims to pursue sustainable development, recognition of the rights of ICCs/IPs, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation during the forum on House Bill 115- Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA) Act of 2016 on September 12 at Grand Caprice, Cagayan de Oro City. (NEDA 10)

In the forum on HB 115 spearheaded by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in Region 10 on September 12, Datu Johnny B. Guing, 53, of the Talaandig tribe, affirmed Baguilat’s statement.

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He said they rely mainly on the resources in the mountains of Bukidnon for their livelihood and cultural enrichment but they always see to it that everybody can benefit from their efforts in protecting the environment.

“Kung na-opaw na ang lugar, pasabot ana wala na pud ang tribu diha nagpuyo. Busa, kinahanglan usab sa tribu nga matabangan sa gobyerno ug mga grupo aron mapadayon ang pagbantay sa kinaiyahan (If the area becomes denuded, that means there are no more tribes living in it. Thus, the tribes need help from the government and groups so we can continue safeguarding the resources),” Guing said.

To pursue this goal, Baguilat said that with the government’s and the world’s involvement, the IPs will have the courage to spread stewardship of watersheds and forests.

The partnership will also strengthen the integrity of the ICCs.

With the IPs’ traditional governance, Baguilat said an inclusive government is not just ensured as the country will also reap the gains of having a responsive sector which can aid in sustainable management and development.

“HB 115 is in line with the region’s objective to continually adopt sustainable resource utilization practices and activities, and respect for human rights, beliefs, traditions and culture of the IPs,” NEDA Regional Director Mae Esther Guiamadel said.

“The successful realization of which shall inch the region’s way forward to the shared aspiration for Filipinos, including the IPs, to enjoy a ‘matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay’ (stable, convenient and assured life) by 2040,” Guiamadel added.

The HB 115 forum is conducted across the country in regional clusters to inform the Filipinos on the salient points of the bill and generate inputs and recommendations to enhance the provisions of the bill. (RTP/PIA10)

Source: PIA Feed