Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997: A Standpoint from Selected Higher Education Institutions in Nueva Ecija After 20 Years
The focus of this study is to determine the awareness of employees and students of Higher Education Institutions in Nueva Ecija on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 twenty years after its implementation. The instruments used are survey questionnaires supplemented by interview, and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The study found that most HEI’s in the Province of Nueva Ecija are not aware on the concerns of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs)/ Indigenous Peoples (IPs). Likewise, no suitable office or center is provided by HEIs to cater to the educational needs of the ICCs/IPs. Most of the HEI employees and students are not aware on the IPRA of 1997 as shown by the absence of mechanisms and programs intended to heighten their consciousness on Indigenous Peoples rights. The study also showed that a very low percentage of HEIs are inclined to provide education services to the IPs. In addition, HEIs in Nueva Ecija have no existing collaboration with NCIP in regard to programs designed to increase awareness and protection of IPs. The study concluded that after 20 years of IPRA, HEIs in Nueva Ecija lag behind in promoting indigenous peoples rights and protection in the Province.
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