THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES First Regular Session SENATE S. No. 61 INTRODUCED BY HON. MANUEL B. VLLLAR JR. EXPLANATORY NOTE The 1987 Constitution has very wisely given the highest priority to the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous cultural communities to ensure their economic, social and cultural well-being. Thus, in its declaration of principles and state policies, the Constitution in Article 2, Section 22, provides that “the State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development.” In its article on the national economy and patrimony, the Constitution in Article 12, Section 5 provides that “the State shall protect the rights of the indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands” and expressly authorizes Congress to provide “for the applicability of the customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain.” In its provisions on education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports, the Article 14, Section 17 of the Constitution provides that “the State shall recognize, respect and protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to preserve and develop their cultures, traditions and institutions” and “shall consider their rights in the formulation of national plans and policies.” _. In light of the above provisions, it is imperative that the government should adopt policies and programs for indigenous cultural communities. But to ensure that these policies and programs be based on facts and an enlightened judgment, it is necessary to have a continuing indepth study of the indigenous cultural communities, who should also participate in such study. This is the reason for the proposed creation of a center for studies on indigenous cultural communities. In view of the foregoing considerations, the approval of this bill is earnestly requested.

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