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PIA Press Release
2010/05/21

NCIP to distribute 1-M hectare of ancestral domain titles in Cagayan Valley

by Ben Moses Ebreo

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (May 21) -- The National Commission on Indigenous People(NCIP) is set to award close to 1 million ancestral domain lands for indigenous peoples for Cagayan Valley.

"We are currently in the process of surveying ancestral domain lands of indigenous communities in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya to be awarded to its claimants soon," said Ruben Bastero, NCIP regional director.

He expressed optimism that their task will be up by 2011 inorder to legitimize the ancestral domain claims of our indigenous people in the region.

Bastero was in the province Friday during the opening of the "Watwat" festival, a cultural practice of indigenous tribes in Nueva Vizcaya.

he "Watwat" festival which means sharing of pork meat among tribal communities and visitors is one of the highlights of the weeklong celebration of the province?s 171st founding anniversary.

According to Bastero, the Province of Isabela comprises the biggest ancestral domain claim in the country to be targeted for distribution next year because it comprises less than 350,000 hectares.

The figure, he said will be distributed to the Agta tribe while the other ancestral domain claims in the provinces of Cagayan, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya will be awarded to the Agtas, Bugkalots, Ayangan, Tuwali, Kalanguya and Isinai tribes.

"These are on-going surveys and we even have petitions from local officials to hasten the proessing of these applications," Bastero said. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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