SENATOR Francis Tolentino is pushing for military and police academies to appropriate at least 10 percent of their student slots to indigenous peoples’ (IP) under Senate Bill (SB) No.1586 or the “Katutubong Tagapagtanggol” Act.
The bill aims to promote the welfare of IPs and indigenous cultural committees’ civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and ensure said rights are kept with regards to recruitment and employment.
Under the bill, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) are mandated to admit IPs to their academic programs, accord them the same procedures as with non-IP members, and prevent the discrimination of IPs by reason of their physical, socio-cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs.
The Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are slated to head the IP admission program.
Meanwhile, another Senate bill, SB 1523, which is working its way through the legal process, would see the preservation of indigenous cultural games under the supervision of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Department of Education (DepED).
The bill also proposes that said indigenous games be included in curricula in basic and higher education systems to preserve the games, as well as conduct annual regional competitions of the traditional games under the supervision of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and local government units.