NCIP now back to Office of President; Deles is oversight official

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 November) – The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is  now out of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and back to the Office of the President,  with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles as oversight official.

According to a press release from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), President Benigno Aquino III on Monday signed Executive Order 11, ordering the transfer back to the OP, to “ensure concerted efforts in formulation and implementing policies, programs and projects geared towards the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples.”

The NCIP, by virtue of Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), was created as an independent agency under the OP,  as the primary government agency that will formulate and implement policies, plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of IP communities and recognize their ancestral domain as well as their rights.

It was first lodged under the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through Executive Order No. 364 and later under the DENR through Executive Order No. 726, both under the Arroyo administration.

“There is an urgent need to clearly define the administrative attachment of the NCIP in keeping with the legislative intent, address the needs and aspirations of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples with regards to their rights and welfare by the highest officials of the land, and ensure consistency in policies, programs, project coordination and implementation,” the EO stated.

Aside from designating Deles as oversight official, the President also named two commissioners Zenaida Brigida Hamada-Pawid, representing Region I and the Cordilleras, and Dionesia Banua, standing for the island groups including Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon, Panay and the rest of Visayas. (MindaNews)