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NCIP brings biggest delegation nat'l, local gov't officials to Eskaya Biabas

CORTES, Bohol, September15 (PIA) – Representatives from more than 20 national government agencies and local government units and Eskaya leaders from four communities trooped to the mountain of Biabas in Guindulman to show solidarity and commitment for indigenous people’s rights and their advancement, while retaining their cultural identity.

During the Inter-Agency (IA) Community Visitation to the Ancestral Domain and Consultation with the Indigenous Cultural Community (ICC), Eskaya communities in Cantaub, Sierra Bullones, Taytay Duero and Lundag, Pilar wore their traditional undyed sinamay and headdresses and met with the government officials to bring them to their traditional village center in Biabas, Guindulman.

Ana Burgos, National Commission for Indigenous People’s (NCIP) Regional Director for Regions 6 and 7, lauded the representatives of the government agencies who allotted their time and efforts to be present during the consultation.

"This is the first time that I am seeing this sincere show of support with the most number of government agencies gathered for the benefit of the IPs," she said.

Burgos, who travelled from Iloilo, also met the elders of Taytay, Lundag, Cantaub and Biabas to gather their issues for the government agencies heads to commit to address and resolve.

The provincial government of Bohol was represented by Romeo Teruel and Engr. Vicente Loquellano.

The activity was organized by NCIP Bohol through Emmilou Gonzaga.

The inter-agency community visitation to the ancestral domains of one of the country’s indigenous cultural community (ICCs), allowed the communities here to level off with the government agencies, especially the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on issues involving the processing of the Certificates of Ancestral Domain Claims (CAD-C) for the communal claim of their hallowed grounds, Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA), and reported Certificates of Stewardship Contracts (CSC) to individuals for individuals claims.  

A CLOA, by law, allows the beneficiary to sell the property after 10 years.

The Department of Public Works and Highways through Engr. Queenie Balo informed the Biabas Eskaya Community that the government is funding a multi-purpose building or covered court in the community.

Burgos reminded everyone of the IPRA law that demands pre and prior consent from the IPs before any projects can be implemented in the area.

The DTI also offered their assistance through the one-town one product funds for entrepreneurs and skilled crafts.

The National Housing Authority also discussed their Housing Resettlement Program for IPs in the 23 units designed with 8x10 single detached housing units.

PhilHealth, on the other hand, brought a medical mission and coordinated a service caravan for the Biabas Eskaya community in the next few months.

The DENR also promised to allow the NCIP to consolidate their records on CLOA holders and the integration of the lots to finally match the granted lands with the domain claims. (RAHC/PIA-7/Bohol)

Members of the Eskaya communities in Bohol listen as the NCIP and the representatives of various government agencies discuss strategies to fasttrack the conversion of the Eskaya Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CAD-C) to Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CAD-T) .(RAHC/PIA Bohol)

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Rey Anthony Chiu

Regional Editor

Region 7

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