PGMA distributes CADTs to indigenous peoples in Mindanao

June 11, 2009 11:54 am 

POLOMOLOK, South Cotabato, June 11 — In line with her strong commitment to provide land security as well as equal opportunities to the indigenous peoples, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday distributed Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title (CADTs) to tribal communities in two Mindanao provinces.

The President, in a simple ceremony at the Dolores Farm Resort here, awarded the CADTs to the B’laan and Tagakaolo tribes in Malungon, Sarangani Province and to the Bogobo and Tagabawa tribes in Makilala, North Cotabato, covering a total of 77,777 hectares.

The CADT for Malungon, Sarangani Province, which covers an area of 74,804 hectares, will benefit 52,110 B’laan and Tagakaolo indigenous peoples, while the CADT for Makilala, North Cotabato, covers an area of 2,973 hectares and will benefit 2,777 Bagobo and Tagabawa individuals.

“To our new landowners, you now have the titles, you already have the agreements and you are now the landlords of the foreign investors,” the President said as she referred to the Korean investors who are keen to develop part of the tribal ancestral domain lands into the propagation of jatropha industry.

Last month, the Chief Executive distributed CADTs to at least 1,399 Aeta and Dumagat families in Central Luzon.

Earlier, the President had directed the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to undertake the delineation and titling of the ancestral domain lands nationwide and the provision of socioeconomic programs to uplift the living standards of the indigenous peoples in the country.

When she assumed the presidency in 2001, the first Executive Order (EO1) she issued institutionalized her intention to leave a lasting legacy to the indigenous peoples.

The EO paved the way for the rebirth of the NCIP and created the Special Task Force on Indigenous Peoples, popularly known as Task Force 63.

These presidential issuances seek to insure the safety of IP communities facing actual and potential violence owing to conflicts involving land claims, while Memorandum Order No. 26, Series of 2002, allows the reorganization of NCIP to ensure its strengthening and revitalization for it to be of better service to the IPs. (PNA)

scs/ZST

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