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FREE IP CIVIL REGISTRATION GETS HOUSE PANEL NOD

A House of Representatives panel approved the tax provisions of the measure that seeks to provide a free and culture-sensitive civil registration system for Indigenous Peoples (IPs).

In a virtual meeting, the House Ways and Means Committee approved without amendments, Section 6 of the unnumbered substitute bill to House Bills 1332 and 2812, principally authored by Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas and Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez, respectively.

Section 6 of the bill states that IPs would be exempted from payment of all fees in the recording of their birth, marriage, and death, as well as notarial fees and document stamp tax.

Rodriguez noted that many IPs are not registered, arguing that birth registration remains insignificant among these groups.

“Without a legal birth record, an individual does not officially exist.”

The veteran legislator said without a legal birth record, an individual does not officially exist and therefore lacks legal access to the privileges and protection of a nation.

“Many of them understand the implications of non-registration only when they get to experience problems in transactions requiring proofs of name, age, or nationality,” the seasoned lawmaker said.

“Many of these IPs are indigent and lack the necessary finances to be able to register.”

He argued the lack of birth registration is often caused by the fact that many of these IPs are indigent and lack the necessary finances to be able to register.

“There is thus a need to encourage these IPs into registering in order for the State to afford them the necessary protection they deserve,” Rodriguez stressed.

The bill proposes the establishment of an Indigenous Peoples Civil Registration System (IPCRS) that is sensitive and appropriate to the unique cultural practices and identification systems of IPs.

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