The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has granted certificates of recognition for ancestral land to three Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC) in Palawan.
The three ICCs are from Barangays Barake and Cabigaan in Aborlan town and Brgy. Napsan in Puerto Princesa City, NCIP Provincial Director Atty. Jansen Jontilla said. The certificates were given during the seminar on Healing, Reconciliation, and Operationalizing the 11 Building Blocks in the Ancestral Domain in Support to the Whole Government conducted by the NCIP at the A&A Plaza Hotel last October 7-8.
NCIP Commissioner George M. Largado stated that the certificate is given to ICCs to formally recognize their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) or if the title is not yet approved by the Land Registration Authority (LRA).
Largado also said he has given instructions to Atty. Jontilla to personally visit the Indigenous Peoples communities to distribute the certificates or titles once registered with LRA.
“Marami pa tayong gagawin dito, pupuntahan natin ang mga community para yung kanilang ancestral domain ay maibigay mismo sa kanila at pormal na makilala itong kanilang Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title, or kung hindi pa na-aprubahan yung kanilang titulo sa LRA, bibigyan muna sila ng Certificate of Recognition,” Largado said.
“Ang directive natin kay Atty. Jansen ay puntahan ang mga community at kung may activity ay doon ibibigay yung certificate at kung mayroon nang titulo na rehistrado na sa LRA,” he added.
Largado further explained that the activity in Puerto Princesa City was the last of a series of healing and reconciliation seminars for IPs conducted by NCIP in 54 provinces around the country, participated in by around 400 IP community members together with provincial and city government officials and other sectors of society.
He said the activity was also held as part of the NCIP mandate to strengthen and empower the ICCs for the recognition of their rights and the laws regarding ancestral domains.
“Nagkaroon din ng workshop para sa pagpapalakas ng Indigenous Political Structure sa ating community at yung pagkilala ng IP organizations bilang implementing arm, at pagpapalakas din ng kanilang Ancestral Domain Management Office,” Largado said.
“Tiningnan din natin ang kanilang paggawa ng mga plano within sa kanilang community dito sa tinatawag nating Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan at pagpapatibay na rin ng kanilang kultura at tradisyon sa pamamagitan ng Indigenous Peoples Sustainable Program,” he added.
He further said that it also served as a chance for them to touch base with the IP communities to personally hear their issues and concerns.
“Sa ngayon, kausap pa rin natin yung ating mga IP communities na may burning issues dito sa Palawan where we found out na number one na problema pa rin nila yung pagkilala ng estado sa kanilang lupang ninuno, at pangalawa ay yung kanilang representation sa local council (IPMR),” Largado said.
Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was also signed between the City Government of Puerto Princesa, NCIP and the ICCs of Cabayugan and Kamuning together with the Coalition Against Land Grabbing (CALG), while a Covenant for Peace was also signed by participants of the seminar.
Largado said the MOA serves to correct historical injustices and heal past differences among ICCs.
“Maganda ito na pinagkasunduan ng lahat para yung mga nakaraan huwag nang balikan at doon sa community ay mapanatili natin ang kapayapaan. Lahat ng IP communities ay nag-volunteer para dito,” he stated.