August 16, 2018

DepEd Memo: Observance of the National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous Peoples Month 2018

DepEd Memorandum No. 128, series 2018: Observance of the National Indigenous Peoples Day and National Indigenous Peoples Month 2018.

1. The Department of Education (DepEd) announces the Observance of the National Indigenous Peoples Day, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and National Indigenous Peoples Month.

2. All its offices and schools are enjoined to observe the following celebrations through various commemorative and advocacy activities:
a. National Indigenous Peoples Day pursuant to Republic Act No. 10689 entitled An Act Declaring August 9 as National Indigenous Peoples Day and Mandating the Meaningful Observance Thereof; and
b. National Indigenous Peoples Month is based on the issuance of the Presidential Proclamation No. 1906, s. 2009 entitled Declaring the Month of October of Every Year as National Indigenous Peoples Month.

3. For this year’s observance of the National Indigenous Peoples (IP) Day and National IP Month, the DepEd shall be guided by the theme Ugnayan ng DepEd at Pamayanan Pagtibayin sa Pangalawang Dekada ng Pagsulong ng Katutubong Edukasyon. The theme highlights the importance of partnership between DepEd and IP communities, which is moving into its second decade this year. The strengthening of partnership mechanisms is a fundamental prerequisite to actualize the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSPs) in the curriculum and meaningful participation of IP communities in program management and governance.

4. Integrated commemoration of the National IP Day and IP Month shall focus on advocacy activities that highlight the importance of this partnership and efforts to widen the involvement of communities in education governance and curriculum contextualization.

5. As the primary government agency mandated to protect and promote the right of every Filipino learner to basic education, including the inculcation of values that protect recognition of the nation’s cultural diversity, the DepEd intends to substantially contribute to the objectives of the said observances through the extensive network of schools, field offices, and various learning programs.

6. This is consistent with the aims of the K to 12 Basic Education Program and the National Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) Policy Framework (DepEd Order No. 62, s. 2011), which stipulates that within the framework of maintaining inclusive and effective learning environments, the DepEd shall nurture, among all learners and DepEd teaching and nonteaching personnel, respect for human rights and cultural diversity and that DepEd shall promote greater awareness and appreciation of the Indigenous Peoples’ cultural heritage and history – an integral, yet often neglected, part of the Philippine nation’s cultural heritage and history (Section 15-g).

7. In line with the theme, the regional and schools division offices, and schools are enjoined to support the national celebrations by undertaking appropriate and relevant activities from August 6 to 17, 2018 (for the commemoration of the National IP Day on August 9) and from October 1 to 31, 2018 (for the National IP Month) through, but not limited to, the following:

a. Conduct of appropriate learning activities that promote the objectives and message of the national celebration (e.g., activities that promote awareness of and respect for indigenous cultural communities, particularly those within or proximal to the school vicinity);
b. Conduct of advocacy activities for teaching and nonteaching personnel, and other stakeholders;
c. Hanging of streamers/banners in strategic places in the vicinity of DepEd offices and schools (an electronic file of the standard layout shall be provided to regional offices by the DepEd – Indigenous Peoples Education Office/IPsEO); and
d. Featuring the event and other IPEd-related activities on the website and other communications media of the regional and schools division offices, and schools.

8. For DepEd personnel, it is highly encouraged that the said observances be maximized as an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of key DepEd policies on IPEd, such as the IPEd Curriculum Framework (DO 32, s. 2015), the implementation of the IPEd Program, as well as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (online resources are available at

9. It is reiterated that the planning and conduct of activities are to be guided by the Guidelines on the Conduct of Activities and Use of Materials Involving Aspects of Indigenous Peoples Culture (DO 51, s. 2014), which are meant to provide guidance on the ethical assessment of the conduct of learning activities and related engagements of schools, DepEd offices, and other education initiatives, which involve various aspects of indigenous peoples culture. Likewise, field offices and schools are enjoined to consult and collaborate with indigenous community elders and other culture bearers as appropriate in the conduct of activities.

10. Regional offices and SDOs, through the IPEd focal persons, shall ensure the proper coordination of activities and compliance with the guideline provided in this Memorandum. Expenses incurred relative to the conduct of activities shall be charged to local funds, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

11. Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.