Issuance of CALTs stopped

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


ANCESTRAL land claimants will have to wait for an indefinite time for their Certificates of Ancestral Land Titles (CALTs) following the order of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to its regional office to suspend the issuance of CALTs.

NCIP-Cordillera director Amador Batay-an made the announcement during a forum on the ancestral land issue held at the University of the Philippines- Baguio recently.

"Our apologies to the claimants," said Batay-an during the forum. "But this is a response to the clamor of all stakeholders in Baguio that the NCIP will act on [the issuance of CALTs]."

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He added that while the NCIP will continue accepting applications, the agency will conduct further investigations and stressed no CALTs will be issued until the order is lifted.

However, he assured legitimate claimants of the moratorium’s temporary nature adding the applications will be acted upon once “things have been cleared.”

The suspension is based on Section 21 of Joint Department of Agrarian Reform-Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources-Land Registration Authority-NCIP Administrative Order No. 01-12 wherein ancestral domain/ancestral land titling by NCIP over identified contentious areas "shall remain suspended unless resolved by the concerned Joint Provincial/Regional or National Committee."

Mixed public opinion rose earlier this month when an Ibaloi family was granted a writ of possession permitting them to evict tenants of the century-old Casa Vallejo based on CALTs issued by the NCIP. Opposing statements by the NCIP and DENR have led to a pending case before the Supreme Court and investigation on the issuance of CALTs over Casa Vallejo has compelled the NCIP en banc to order a status quo against the writ of possession.

The city government has earlier sought the cancellation of CALTs awarded by NCIP to ancestral claimants overlapping with City Government, national government, and private properties including reservations and parks. (Pryce Quintos)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 06, 2014.

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