Rizal IPMR Dina Pascual gives a speech during the X-Ed briefing orientation seminar in Brooke's Point, April 17.

Rizal will hold today an Indigenous People’s Summit to discuss possible educational opportunities for IP youth and child welfare laws, among other sectoral concerns.

Dina Pascual, the Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative (IPMR) said the summit will gather representatives of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), leaders of local and provincial councils, along with tribal leaders, school-age youth, and women from the IP communities in Rizal.

One of the issues Pascual they wanted the summit to tackle is the prohibition on child marriage undet Republic Act No. 11596. She noted that the leaders of these IP communities frequently justified child marriages as their cultural practice.

“Ang goal ay itaas talaga ang kamalayan ng IP leader patungkol sa kung paano mamuno (…) sa kanila para tumaas, kailangan nilang malaman ang iba’t-ibang batas maliban doon sa culture. (…) Kailangan yung sinasabi na kultura at tradisyon sa bagong panahon, mayroong mawawala at mayroong maidadagdag,” Pascual said.

Pascual included this announcement in her speech during the Multiply-Ed (X-Ed) briefing-orientation seminar on school governance on April 17 in Brooke’s Point.

Pascual said she hopes that the summit will help identify to local ordinances that would lead to better institutional support for IP youth.

Pascual was also invited to Vietnam next month to view palm oil production as an alternative livelihood source. She also expressed interest in organizing a conference this May 8-10 in the provincial Capitol, in order to workshop the logistics of making an official data collection and digital directory of IPs found in Palawan.