The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997

Last updated: 12 December 2023

The Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997 lays out a comprehensive legal framework to recognize and protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities (ICCs)/indigenous peoples (IPs) in the Philippines. 

The Act protects the rights of ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains and recognises the applicability of customary laws in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domains. It grants ICCs/IPs the right to practice and develop their cultures, traditions and institutions. It additionally protects their cultural integrity and intellectual rights through robust enforcement of the right to free and prior informed consent. 

To ensure the effective implementation, the Act establishes the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) as the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs related to Indigenous Peoples’ rights. 

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