Traditional Knowledge Laws: Philippines

Title The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8371)
Subject Matter Traditional Knowledge
Issue(s) Beneficiaries or Rightholders; Scope of Protection
Type(s) of Legislation Other

Beneficiaries or Rightholders

Section 3 - Definition of Terms

h) Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) - refer to a group of people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by others, who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory, and who have, under claims of ownership since time immemorial, occupied, possessed and utilized such territories, sharing common bonds of language, customs, traditions and other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance to political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, non-indigenous religions and cultures, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos. ICCs/IPs shall likewise include peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, at the time of conquest or colonization, or at the time of inroads of non-indigenous religions and cultures, or the establishment of present state boundaries, who retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions, but who may have been displaced from their traditional domains or who may have resettled outside their ancestral domains. 

Scope of Protection

Section 32 - Community Intellectual Rights

- ICCs/IPs have the right to practice and revitalize their own cultural traditions and customs. The State shall presence, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures as well as the right to the restitution of cultural, intellectual religious, and spiritual property taken without their free and prior informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.

Section 34 - Right to Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices and to Develop own Sciences and Technologies

- ICCs/IPs are entitled to the recognition of the full ownership and control end protection of their cultural and intellectual rights. They shall have the right to special measures to control, develop and protect their sciences, technologies and cultural manifestations, including human and other genetic resources, seeds, including derivatives of these resources, traditional medicines and hearth practices, vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals, indigenous knowledge systems and practices, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literature, designs, and visual and performing arts.

Section 35 - Access to Biological and Genetic Resources

- Access to biological and genetic resources and to indigenous knowledge related to the conservation, utilization and enhancement of these resources, shall be allowed within ancestral lands and domains of the ICCs/IPs only with a free and prior informed consent of such communities, obtained in accordance with customary laws of the concerned community.