Tribes tackle land issues

IPMRs of different barangays in Puerto Princesa City convene to discuss the issues as well as recommendations that address the concerns of indigenous communities in the city. (In photo/facing: Mr. Dionisio Mancera Jr. IPMR of Bgy. Tiniguiban)

Members of the Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in Puerto Princesa City have convened in a two-day workshop that discussed issues of the indigenous tribes particularly on their ancestral land ownership.

The tribes composed of Cuyunon, Tagbanua and Batak were present in the workshop which highlighted the issue on the titling of ancestral land in favor of the indigenous communities considering the various threats facing the ancestral domain.

“Bago matapos ang kanilang termino nais nating makamit ang inaasahang titulo ng aming lupa mula sa aming mga ninuno” said Rodolfo Bulagis, IPMR of Bgy. Napsan.

Some of the threats identified by the IPs  are the rampant selling of ancestral lands to private individuals or companies and the individuals and intrusion.

The workshop was organized by IP representative in the city council Nelson Saavedra and was assisted by City Councilor Nesario Awat.

Saavedra reported that for six months he was able to facilitate the titling of seven ancestral domains in the city with the assistance of city government.

Apart from land titling, the office of IP representative also assisted in the preparation of Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Plan (ADSDPP), which embodies the goals and objectives, policies and strategies as well as programs / projects of IPs for the sustainable development and management of their ancestral domain and all resources including human and cultural resources such as their Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSPs).

The issues identified were categorized into four: ancestral domain, governance, livelihood and education. Recommendations to address the issues were also laid down.

The workshop was also in line with the celebration of Indigenous People’s Month during the month of October.

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