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President Corazon Aquino gets posthumous award for indigenous peoples' act
The online news portal of TV5

The late President Corazon C. Aquino and eight other stakeholders from different organizations were given awards for their valuable help and support for the passage of the Indigenous People's Rights Act (IPRA), Radyo Singko reported Tuesday.

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) honored the late President Aquino "for enshrining the policy of recognition in the Constitution and the inclusion of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) agenda in the Social Pact for Empowered Economic Development.

Viel Aquino Dee, the sister of current President Benigno Aquino III, received the plaque in behalf of their mother.

Meanwhile, President Aquino led the awarding ceremonies for IPRA's 15th anniversary, which had the theme "IPRA ay Gabay sa Kaunlaran, Isaisip, Ipabatid at Isakatuparan”.

Aquino also awarded certificates of Ancestral Domain/Land Titles to beneficiaries and reiterated the government's commitment to uphold the rights and aspirations of indigenous people as mandated by the IPRA adding that it is working to grant more certificates of Ancestral Domain/Land Titles to the legitimate beneficiaries.

To further empower indigenous people, the NCIP also allotted P5 million for their education. NCIP started a merit-based scholarship grant to 100 youths.

Aquino said that the government continues to craft mechanisms towards the development and empowerment of the country's indigenous peoples.

"Ngayong umaga, nagtitipon tayo, hindi lang para magbalik-tanaw sa mga tagumpay na ibinunga ng RA 8371, ang Indigenous People's Rights Act. Narito tayo upang higit pang pa-igtingin ang ating dedikasyon sa paglinang at pagbibigay-lakas sa ating mga katutubo bilang mahalagang bahagi ng ating kultura’t lipunan," President Aquino said in a press statement posted on a government website.

[This morning, we gathered not only to look back on the success of RA 8371, the Indigenous People's Rights Act. We are here to further strengthen our dedication to indigenous people who form an important part of our culture and society.]

Aquino also said that his administration recognizes the inherent rights of IP and their cultural communities to self-governance, empowerment and cultural integrity.

IPRA was signed into law on October 29, 1997 by former President Fidel V. Ramos.

Republic Act No. 8371 was enacted to recognize, protect, and promote the rights of the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples, as well as to establish implementing mechanisms and appropriate funds for these purposes.