The Cordillera Regional Development Council Committee on Indigenous Peoples Concerns (CIPC) conducted the first of a 4-part webinar series with the theme “Understanding the Ancestral Domain (AD)” on October 6, 2021. Almost 1,300 participants all over the country joined live through virtual meeting application and in Facebook streams.
The webinar series is dubbed as “Dad-an Tako”, a Kankanaey term for “Our Journey”. This is the banner program of the CIPC and is held in observance of the Indigenous Peoples Month and the 24th commemoration of the IP Rights Act (IPRA) this October.
“Why do we need to discuss ancestral domain after 24 years of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act?”, posed Atty. Atanacio Addog of the Cordillera National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). To this, he emphasized that ancestral domain is part of the identity of IPs, and there would be no IPs without it.
Atty. Arthur Herman of the NCIP presented the profiles of the 149 identified ancestral domains in the region. There are seven ADs that have registered Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT), 19 with approved CADTs but still on process for registration with the Registry of Deeds, and 20 that are undergoing delineation and processing.
The process of delineation to the approval of CADTs is tedious and entails cost. Budget constraints is a major challenge thus the very low turnout of approved CADTs over the years.
The recent nullification by the Supreme Court (SC) of the Certificates of Ancestral Land Title (CALTs) issued to Ibaloy claimants in Baguio City in the case of Republic vs NCIP, et al is due to the limitation of the power of the NCIP to delineate ancestral domains and ancestral lands (ADs/ALs). The Commission now is initiating the crafting of special rules for the delineation of CALTs in the City of Baguio that will implement the exceptions provided in the SC ruling.
Moreover, the segregation of titled properties inside ancestral domains and ancestral lands contributes to the delay in the registration of CADTs/CALTs as provided under Section 56 of the IPRA.
The policy gaps in the guidelines in the registration process of the Commission and the Land Registration Authority (LRA) remain to be a challenge. The NCIP is looking at policy dialogues with the LRA for the scrapping of the strict requirement for segregation of titled properties and instead agree on mere annotations in the certificates.
The NCIP also aims to resume and fast track all pending boundary conflict resolutions and continue its partnership with other agencies and private institutions for funding support.
Atty. Herman called on the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) to support the AD/AL delineation as one of the priority programs of the Commission on IP land security.
The webinar series is scheduled every Wednesday of October with themes touching on IPs and their rights.