SENATOR Sonny Angara has called for the full implementation of the Integrated History Law that mandates the teaching of indigenous peoples history in both basic and higher education in the country.
“By including this subject in our education system, we effectively instill further understanding of IP history, culture and identity in the minds of the youth,” said Angara.
“This way, we can better foster a culture of peace,” said Angara, as the country now celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Month which aims to promote the preservation of their culture.
Under Republic Act 10908, which Angara authored, the history, culture and identity studies of IPs and of Filipino-Muslims should be integrated in the formulation of the curriculum for the study of Philippine history, including the writing, printing and publication of textbooks and other reading materials.
According to the Department of Education, the law is currently being implemented but only in select schools, mostly in Mindanao.
Angara urged the DepEd to fast-track the implementation of the Integrated History Law, which was enacted in 2016, in all schools nationwide in order to create “a truly inclusive history that accounts for all Filipinos.”
Based on data from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, there are around 15-million IPs in the country, mainly concentrated in Mindanao and Northern Luzon.
A United Nations report on the State of the World showed that IPs “make up one-third of the world’s poorest peoples, suffer disproportionately in areas like health, education, and human rights, and regularly face systemic discrimination and exclusion.”
To help address this problem, Angara said he has also filed Senate Bill 978 that seeks to establish Resource Centers in all indigenous cultural communities to enhance the delivery of basic and necessary services such as training programs, grant of scholarships, employment, livelihood, and health services.
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