The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has intensified its partnership with other government agencies and stakeholders to supplement its meager budget.

This was shared by NCIP Director for Policy, Planning and Research Mary Grace Buasen during a webinar recently organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) on “Assessing the Institutional Arrangements and the Implementation of Policies on Indigenous Peoples”. The webinar featured the findings of the PIDS study “Review of Indigenous Peoples Policy and Institutional Grounding” authored by PIDS Senior Research Fellow Sonny Domingo and PIDS Research Specialist Arvie Joy Manejar.

Buasen, who served as a discussant at the webinar, said that “since the enactment of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, only 25 percent of NCIP's core programs were accomplished due to limited funds.”

“[Requests] to augment funds in the General Appropriations Act were continuously denied,” she added.

She also noted that the lack of budget makes it difficult for NCIP to “pursue [its] research programs”.

This problem was confirmed by NCIP Region 2 Commissioner Norberto Navarro who was also present at the webinar.

Ang budget ng NCIP [para sa] kanyang community service center ay nasa PHP 6,000 ang average… Ang coverage niyan ay rent, utilities, internet, bond paper, etc. Nakita niyo, PHP 6,000? Saan kami pupulutin nyan diba?” Navarro asked.

Meanwhile, in her response to a question during the open forum on whether the NCIP has a forecast of the financial requirements needed vis-à-vis the number of applications for ancestral domain (AD) delineation, Buasen revealed that while they have identified targets, these are not funded.

“We usually get the targets (i.e., ADs to be titled) from our regional offices. Unfortunately, our targets or plans are not funded. There was even a budget cut on the funding for delineation and titling in 2015 [until] 2019,” Buasen said.

To address limited operational funds, Buasen mentioned that they have been looking for ways to fund their projects and activities for the IPs, such as by engaging with stakeholders. “We have to partner with other government agencies as co-implementer of [our] projects.”

In her closing speech, Buasen said that while NCIP’s resources seemed “substantial”, these are “not enough to do its gargantuan task”.

“NCIP is moving heaven and earth to tap other agencies just to help serve our IP brothers,” Buasen added.

Meanwhile, Navarro said he remains optimistic now that there are efforts in Congress to increase their budget.

Ngayon, from PHP 11 million, ang budget namin dapat for delineation, ginawa ng PHP 50 [million] plus. Hindi pa approved, pero ‘yan ang approved ng [Department of Budget and Management] na isinusulong sa Kongreso ngayon,” Navarro said. ###

You may watch the webinar at or

Main Menu

Secondary Menu