February 22, 2024

There has been confusion about the position of the indigenous people in Baguio City in relation to the House Bill 9428 filed by Baguio Rep. Mark Go that seeks to segregate the 13 barangays from the Camp John Hay reservation.
As an IP, I can say the bill is detrimental to the Happy Hallow ancestral domain. It might be applicable to the 12 barangays but not for Happy Hallow barangay, which has an approved ancestral domain title under CADT CAR-BAG-0206-041 duly issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
This CADT is legal and remains binding.
So, why in the world will this bill be imposed on Happy Hallow ancestral domain, which has passed the tedious process stated under the Indigenous People’s Rights Act? The IPRA defines the rights and privileges of the IPs, including indigenous cultural communities (ICCs). All concerns pertaining to the IPs and ICCs are well-defined in the IPRA.
The bill brings confusion for many reasons, especially that no public consultation with the concern constituents was conducted prior to its filing.
May our elected officials respect the rights of IPs of Baguio City and in all parts of the country. — ROSE MARIE C. SISON, Baguio City