NCIP awards 40,000 ancestral domain titles to IPs in Cagayan Valley
by Ben Moses Ebreo
Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (February 15) -- Close to 40,000 indigenous peoples in Cagayan Valley have been given Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) in a bid to strengthen support of tribal communities in asserting their right on the protection and sustainable utilization of their ancestral domain areas in the region.
Ruben Bastero, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) regional director for Cagayan Valley said the recipient IPs from the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan were given 960,000 hectares, based on their latest record.
Lately, the NCIP en banc finally approved the largest ancestral domain consisting of 340,000 hectares for the Aetas of the coastal towns of Palanan, Dinapigue, Divilacan and San Mariano in Isabela province and 72,000 hectares for the Bugkalot tribe of Nueva Vizcaya.
Bastero said the ancestral domain in Isabela, located along the Sierra Madre mountains is so far the largest area to be awarded among the IPs in Region 02.
The latest approved ancestral domains were contained in 2 CADTs in addition with nine other CADTs distributed to IPs last year.
"The hunting lifestyle of Aetas from one place to another help our personnel in identifying their ancestral domain claim areas," Bastero stressed.
With the awarding of these areas for the IPs in the region, Bastero expressed optimism that these areas which contribute to the sustainable watershed of the region will be protected, developed and nourished to ensure their productivity and contribution to economic and environmental development in the region. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]