MANILA, Philippines – The Lumad are the largest indigenous group in the Philippines. The word “Lumad” is a Visayan term which means “born of the earth.”
The Philippines is composed of 14 to17 million indigenous peoples (IPs) belonging to 110 ethno-linguistic groups, according to a study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Majority of them are in Mindanao (61%), while 33% are concentrated in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). Other indigenous groups are located in the Visayas region.
In 1997, the “Indigenous Peoples Rights Act” (IPRA) was enacted to protect the rights of the IPs and their ancestral domains.
Despite being protected by the law, IPs suffer from poverty and numerous human rights violations.
They suffer from discrimination and are considered as one of the poorest minority groups in the world. They do not have access to adequate and appropriate forms of social services like education and health.
According to the United Nations State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Philippines is one of the countries that facilitated large-scale mining by foreign corporations and other destructive projects, displacing many Lumad communities from their ancestral lands.
Other violations on their human rights include the destruction and burning down of schools, areal bombings, and use of school facilities for military operations.
Know more about the Lumad on Rappler Talk on Wednesday night, August 9, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. MovePH’s Voltaire Tupaz will talk to a Lumad elder and a student to discuss their plight under the Duterte administration (WATCH: Rappler Talk: The love-hate relationship between Duterte and the Lumad). – with a report from Danielle Nakpil/Rappler.com