Manila, Philippines – The country’s indigenous people have the right to vote, and this was made sure yesterday as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to ensure their participation in the electoral processes, particularly in the May 2013 local and national elections.
DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, COMELEC Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr. and NCIP Chairperson Brigida H. Pawid forged the agreement at COMELEC office in Intramuros, Manila in order to boost the implementation of COMELEC Resolution 9427,which provides for the registration of the members of the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) or Indigenous Peoples (IPs).
“This is a significant development in the government’s effort to promote and protect the rights of our indigenous peoples by enhancing their participation in governance,” said Robredo.
Following the promulgation of COMELEC Resolution 9427, certain local government units in 14 regions of the country were identified as pilot areas for purposes of registration. (Czarina Nicole O. Ong)