DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 March) – Lack of funds, among other concerns, has prevented the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples from processing applications for a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza said.
Government agencies must work together in addressing these issues so that the Lumads may benefit from the resources in their ancestral domains within the five-province Caraga Region, Dureza said in a statement Tuesday.
“There has to be a convergence of efforts. This has been the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte,” he said.
The official encouraged the NCIP, Land Registration Authority, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department Agrarian Reform to commit to resolve all CADT-related concerns.
He added that Lumad communities must undergo the process of social preparation once CADts are issued.
Addressing around 400 delegates during the IP Summit in Caraga on Monday, Dureza said his office will provide technical assistance to six ethnolinguistic tribes in Caraga as requested by the Lumads in their resolution which cited that some of the approved CADTs have been held pending registration by LRA.
Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) recognizes the rights of the IPs to their ancestral domains by virtue of native title. But they may apply for a CADT if they so desire.
The IPRA further requires the free and prior informed consent of the Lumads for projects within their ancestral domains.
Dureza said it’s up to the Lumads if they want to venture into mining but that they should be the ones to benefit from it.
“It’s up to them. [But] they must have the capability,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)