Lawmaker urges ratification of ILO Convention 169

A LAWMAKER today urged President Benigno Aquino III to sign the International Labour Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and for the Senate to ratify the same.

Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat (Lone District, Ifugao), author of House Resolution 2708, said the ratification of the ILO 169 would strengthen the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the right of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 or Republic Act 8371 (IPRA) in the country as ILO has a supervisory body that will look into the implementation of the Convention.

Baguilat said the move will also complement the work of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in ensuring that the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples are respected and implemented.

“The IPRA, UNDRIP and the ILO Convention No. 169 are compatible and mutually reinforcing in terms of the realization of the collective rights of indigenous peoples,” said Baguilat, Chairman of the House Committee on National Cultural Communities.

It may be recalled that in 1989, the International Labour Organization adopted the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO Convention 169) revising the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention (ILO convention 107) of 1957.

Baguilat said the ILO Convention No. 169 specifies the need for government action to ensure equality in terms of rights and opportunities and to eliminate socio-economic gaps between indigenous peoples and other sectors of society while recognizing their special
rights, needs and aspirations as peoples.

The Ifugao lawmaker noted that the indigenous peoples in the country, with an estimated population of 14 to17 million, continue to be part of the marginalized sector of  society brought about mainly by lack of social services and the loss of their ancestral lands and resources.

“We are strongly urging the President to sign the ILO convention 169 and for the Senate to ratify the same for the benefit of the indigenous peoples in the country and the Filipino people as a whole,” Baguilat said.

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