Legarda Hails Establishment of 1st IP Resource Center in PHFebruary 29, 2016
Senator Loren Legarda hailed the establishment of the country’s first indigenous peoples resource center (IPRC) housed at the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) – Center for West Visayan Studies (CWVS).
“I salute the UP Visayas and its Center for West Visayan Studies for taking the lead in establishing an IP Resource Center in the Panay Region, my beloved home region. Your initiative is a concrete demonstration of what we can achieve if we have the sense of urgency to translate our passion and commitment into action,” said Legarda in her speech read by Former Antique Governor Sally Zaldivar Perez during the inauguration of the Center last February 24.
The IP Resource Center at the UPV aims to provide assistance to indigenous communities particularly through capacity building programs to improve resilience and adaptive capacities and current systems for health, maternal and child care, food security, sustainable livelihoods and governance.
This IPRC, which is under the auspices of CWVS headed by Mr. Jorge Ebay, will also provide a forum for knowledge management and public service for indigenous communities like storytelling and epic chanting sessions, and house an interactive museum on IP arts and crafts.
“I thank everyone who contributed their time, effort, knowledge and skill to establish the country’s first Indigenous Peoples Resource Center. I am proud of you for being on the frontlines of providing culturally-sensitive development services to our IPs. I hope other state universities will replicate your initiative” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, who proposed the creation of IP Resource Centers in SUCs all over the country.
Under Senate Bill No. 2209, which Legarda authored and sponsored, IP Resource Centers will serve as access centers to enhance delivery of basic, social, technical and legal services. Centers shall be composed of the following service areas, namely: Statistical Service Area, Human Development Index Service Area and Domains Management Service Area.
“These Centers shall help address problems of IPs and provide essential services such as employment, livelihood, enterprises, health services, scholarships and trainings,” she explained.
She added that the IP Resource Centers shall embark on the documentation of indigenous knowledge, systems and practices, indigenous political structures, and customary laws, which are vital in achieving cultural integrity.
The proposed measure creating IP Resource Centers in the country has been approved by the Senate, but the counterpart measure at the House of Representatives has yet to be approved.