Examining The Link Between Ipra Law (Legislation) and Transformative Development through A Study Of the Aytas of Subic Bay, Philippines
In 1997, the Tenth Congress of the Republic of the Philippines enacted Republic Act No. 8371, known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA). It was promulgated with a stated purpose to recognize, protect, and promote the rights of indigenous peoples. These rights are rights to ancestral domains and lands, rights to self-governance and empowerment, rights to social justice and human rights, and rights to cultural integrity. Through analyzing the proceedings of governmental institutions, pertinent documents, and interviews with the Indigenous Peoples (IPs), this dissertation investigates the complex course of the implementation of the IPRA law, the lack of political will of the past and present administrations to fully empower implementing mechanisms, conflicting legislations, and ultimately the conflicting views on securing and exercising ownership over ancestral domains and lands between the IPs and the government. This dissertation argues that the full implementation of the IPRA law and follow-up legislations alone will not sufficiently envisage full development of the IPs, but a shift in thinking about development that considers the welfare of every human being in the light of a human person being created in the image of God, the effects of sin, the restorative work of Christ in behalf of humankind, and the kingdom of God is also needed. The study illuminates the ways in which IPs’ development work is carried out, first by incorporating shalom with each letter of the word shalom representing a biblically shaped aspect of Christian social engagement. They are sustainable transformation, holistic community health, assets of the IPs communities, loving service to God and humankind, organizing to protect a common goal and interest, and multicultural collaboration. Second, the study has employed the concept of transformative development to come up with an intervention strategy that is calling-based, asset-based, and collaborative.
Bakke Graduate University, June 2015