June 3, 2023

The Cordillera Regional Development Council Committee on Indigenous Peoples Concerns (CIPC) conducted the first of a four-part webinar series with the theme “Understanding the Ancestral Domain (AD).”

The webinar series, dubbed “Dad-an Tako” or “Our Journey” is the CIPC’s banner program in observance of the Indigenous Peoples Month.

Atty. Atanacio Addog of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera said there is a need to discuss ancestral domain since it is part of the identity of IPs, and there would be no IPs without it.

Atty. Arthur Herman, also of the NCIP presented the profiles of the 149 identified ADs in the region.

There are seven ADs that have registered certificates of ancestral domain title (CADTs), 19 with approved CADTs but still on process for registration with the Registry of Deeds, and 20 are undergoing delineation and processing.

Budget constraints are one of the major challenges in the delineation and approval of CADTs, which is why there is a low turnout of approved CADTs over the years.

The recent nullification by the Supreme Court of the certificates of ancestral land title (CALTs) issued to Ibaloy claimants in Baguio City is due to the limitation of the power of the NCIP to delineate ancestral domains and ancestral lands.

The Commission is initiating the crafting of special rules for the delineation of CALTs in Baguio that will implement the exceptions provided in the SC ruling.

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 also remains 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.

Herman called on the Cordillera Regional Development Council to make the delineation of ancestral domains and ancestral lands 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. – Press release