Army: AFP-NCIP MOU to benefit IPs in Panay
Army soldier “Bayanihan”-Teams will soon join the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) in the conduct of survey and delineation activities in central Panay island to address challenges on IPs ancestral domain.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); painstakingly crafted by the Region 6 NCIP, the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID), while consulting Panay island ICCs,/IPs; is now on its way up to be signed at the Department of National Defense and NCIP national level.
The MOU would also allow the conduct of activities within the military reservation area in parts of Tapaz and Jamindan, both in the Capiz which aims to determine the metes and bounds of the ancestral domain of the IPs in central Panay. The NCIP shall undertake the survey in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the ICCs/IPs of Jamindan and Tapaz, province of Capiz.
In the process of determining delineations, should the ancestral domain of the subject ICCs/IPs be overlapped by
portions of the military reservation, the AFP though the 3ID shall allow entry of the NCIP survey team for the said purpose.
The AFP, NCIP and the ICCs/IPs shall also form a committee to consider the survey returns, discuss its implications and consult one another for viable options in addressing the concerns stated in the MOU.
The MOU also stated that the committee shall submit findings and recommendations to the higher authorities in the AFP, NCIP (Commission en banc) and the general assembly of legitimate claimants for appropriate actions concerning the application for a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) by the concerned ICCs/IPs.
Early on, Major General Jose Mabanta Jr, 3ID Commander, said that for the sake of peace, the military is more than willing to vacate portions of the military reservation provided that it will pass through what is required by law.
“This is the realization of our months of continued engagements and collaborations with NCIP, Local Government Units of Tapaz and Jamindan, ICCs/IPs and other stakeholders to resolve the issue on ancestral domain. This convergence of effort exemplifies our inherent culture of bayanihan”, said Mabanta.
“We will continue our call on Indigenous People’s rights advocate groups such as BAYAN-Panay, KARAPATAN-Panay, and Cynthia Deduro, Executive Director of (DAGSAW) Panay-Guimaras Indigenous People’s Network and MIGRANTE International West Visayas to support this undertaking for the benefit of our ICCs/IPs”, added Mabanta.
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is commemorating this October, the 15th Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) anniversary with the theme, “IPRA ay Gabay sa Kaunlaran. Isaisip, Ipabatid at Isakatuparan.”
Republic Act 8371 otherwise known as IPRA recognizes, protects and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples.
Established as a military reservation in 1962 pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 67, the 33,100-hectare military reservation occupied by the 3ID covers 16 of the 22 upland villages of Tapaz and seven villages of Jamindan. It is considered the third largest military camp in the country.
Records show that in the province of Iloilo, a total of 252 Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT), covering a land area of 1,748 hectares, had already been served to ICCs/IPs beneficiaries of Barangay Masaroy and Alcalaga, Municipality of Calinog last 2005. (PR)
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