IPs ancestral domain claim underway

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Monday, October 29, 2012


THE Indigenous Peoples (IPs) claim of ancestral domain is now underway as the memorandum of understanding (MOU) is up for signing at the Department of National Defense and National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) national level.

The MOU, which was crafted by the NCIP-Western Visayas the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), would allow the conduct of activities within the military reservation area in parts of Tapaz and Jamindan, both in Capiz, which aims to determine the bounds of the ancestral domain of the IPs in central Panay.

The Army “Bayanihan” Teams will soon join the National Commission on Indigenous People and Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) in the conduct of survey and delineation activities that will address the challenges on the IPs ancestral domain.

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The NCIP shall undertake the survey in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the ICCs/IPs of Jamindan and Tapaz, province of Capiz.

The AFP, NCIP, and the ICCs/IPs shall form a committee to consider the survey returns, discuss its implications, and consult one another for viable options in addressing the concerns stated in the MOU.

The AFP, though the 3ID, shall allow the entry of the NCIP survey team for the said purpose.
The MOU also stated the committee shall submit findings and recommendations to the higher authorities in the AFP, NCIP (Commission en banc) and the general assembly of legitimate claimants for appropriate actions concerning the application for a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) by the concerned ICCs or IPs.

Earlier, Major General Jose Mabanta Jr., 3ID commander, said the military is more than willing to vacate portions of the military reservation provided that it will pass through what is required by law.

“We will continue our call on Indigenous People’s rights advocate groups such as Bayan-Panay, Karapatan-Panay, and Cynthia Deduro, Executive Director of (Dagsaw) Panay-Guimaras Indigenous People’s Network and Migrante International West Visayas to support this undertaking for the benefit of our ICCs/IPs,” Mabanta said.

The NCIP is commemorating this October, the 15th Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) anniversary with the theme, “IPRA ay Gabay sa Kaunlaran. Isaisip, Ipabatid at Isakatuparan.”

Republic Act 8371 or the IPRA recognizes, protects, and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples.

Established as a military reservation in 1962 pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 67, the 33,100-hectare military reservation occupied by the 3ID covers 16 of the 22 upland villages of Tapaz and seven villages of Jamindan. It is considered the third largest military camp in the country.

Records show that in the province of Iloilo, a total of 252 Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles, covering a land area of 1,748 hectares, had already been served to ICCs/IPs beneficiaries of Barangay Masaroy and Alcalaga, Municipality of Calinog last 2005.(Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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