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The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) mutually agreed that any application for ancestral domain of the indigenous peoples (IPs) should be declared as Tribal Ancestral Zones (TAZ) by the PCSD.
PCSD Staff Information Officer Jovic Fabello said that as part of their effort to avoid any misunderstanding and friction among government agencies, they agreed on a procedure as reflected in their agreement.
He made it clear that the ancestral domain should be first declared by the PCSD, and any application for Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and any tenurial instruments for IPs ancestral domain should be within the duly declared TAZ.
“Ito pong agreement na ito, yung council ng PCSD at NCIP nagkaroon ng understanding na dapat bago mag declare ng Ancestral Domain dapat dadaan ka sa (PCSD) council at ang council ang mag de-declare ang tawag nyan ay TAZ,” Fabello explained.
“Ang agreement na ito, nag-emanate yan, kasi si NCIP ay sugod lang ng sugod sa pagdeklara ng area for CADT kaya minabuti ng council na magkaroon ng agreement para mayroong level of control,” he further explained.
He said that the PCSD council includes Palawan governor, Puerto Princesa city mayor, and representatives from the different national government agencies.
Pursuant to the Section 11 of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) also known the Republic Act 8371, the CADT is a formal recognition of the rights of the indigenous people / indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral domain over the territories identified and delineated.
Fabello further explained that they cannot support legally an ancestral domain if it is not within the declared TAZ of the PCSD.
“So once na yung halimbawa na nagpadeclare sila na wala sa TAZ namin ay mahirapan kaming suportahan yun both legally o anuman. Mahirap talaga. Ang mga declaration ng ancestral domain nila ay dapat dumadaan yan sa PCSD,” he said.
The city government of Puerto Princesa last year is challenging the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) issued to the Tagbanua indigenous people in Napsan, Simpokan, Bagong Bayan and Bacungan covering an area of more than 48,000 hectares which represents 22 percent of Puerto Princesa’s total land area.
In an earlier interview with the head of the City Planning and Development Department, Engr. Jovenee Sagun, she said that there was an opposition made by the city government in 2012.