Subic Aytas get P14-M for land

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Saturday, August 16, 2014


SUBIC BAY FREEPORT -- The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) authorities handed over a check amounting to more than P14 million to the Ayta tribesmen as payment for the use of their ancestral land here.

Roberto Garcia, SBMA chairman gave the P14,791,440 to Conrado Frenilla, chieftain of the Pastolan Aytas here.

It was witnessed by other tribal elders as well as representatives of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) headed by Director Salong Sunggod.

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Garcia said the check represents the share of the Ayta Ambala tribe of the village of Pastolan in the lease rentals of business companies located within the Ayta ancestral domain from May 2009 to December 2013.

"This day is historical for the SBMA," Garcia said during the turnover held after last Monday's flag-raising ceremony.

He said, "At last we have fulfilled one of the major commitments of the agency for our Ayta brethren under an agreement that we have signed with them."

The Ayta Ambala tribe holds a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) representing ownership of the more than 4,280 hectares of land covering the Kalayaan and the Binictican housing areas in this Freeport, as well as the tourism areas of Apaliin, Pamulaklakin, and El Kabayo, among others.

The joint management agreement (JMA) between the SBMA and the Ayta tribe authorizes the Subic agency to undertake systematic management and development of parts of the ancestral land to help uplift the economic, cultural and social life of the tribe based on the programs implemented by the government.

Under the JMA, the Pastolan Aytas will collect 5 percent of the gross income paid by the investors for rent of the land starting May 12, 2009, when the CADT was registered. In addition, each Aeta family will receive P20,000 a year.

Other benefits include hiring of qualified Aeta workers; implementation of community development assistance programs; construction of schoolrooms for high school, and the hiring of four teachers; establishment of a community clinic with detailed medical personnel from the SBMA Public Health and Safety Department; and an annual donation of P100,000 each for village fiesta and Christmas celebrations.

According to their chieftain they will use the fund to develop their community, improve the Pamulaklakin tourist facility, and send qualified and deserving students to colleges.

"Malaking bagay talaga ang itinutulong sa amin ng SBMA. Tulad ngayon, mapag-aaral na namin ang mga kabataang Ayta sa kolehiyo para lalo pang mapaunlad ang kanilang buhay," said Frenilla.

He added that a small amount of the fund will also be used for a modest celebration in order for all tribe members to really feel the benefits from the SBMA.

For his part, Sunggod said that this was the first time in the country that an indigenous people’s group received a share of payment for the use by investors of their ancestral land.

“Ito ang unang-unang pangyayari sa ating bansa na hindi lamang kinilala ang karapatan ng mga katutubo sa kanilang lupang ninuno, kundi ibinigay pa sa kanila ang karampatang pakinabang,” Sunggod said.

He added that the SBMA could be a model for other agencies in the country in terms of providing assistance and undertaking developments to improve the lives of indigenous people.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 17, 2014.

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