Mandaya community celebrates legal ownership of ancestral lands in Caraga

Atty. Leonor O. Quintayo, NCIP Chairperson after turnover of CADT (Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title) to CasilumBanugan, father of Likid Copertino Banugan. Casilum Banugan is the last remaining eleder (called mangkatadong) who has fought thru the years over this ancestral land in behalf of the Sangab Mandaya Indigenous People

Atty. Leonor O. Quintayo, NCIP Chairperson after turnover of CADT (Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title) to CasilumBanugan, father of Likid Copertino Banugan. Casilum Banugan is the last remaining eleder (called mangkatadong) who has fought thru the years over this ancestral land in behalf of the Sangab Mandaya Indigenous People

Caraga, Davao Oriental (May 8)—After twelve years of dreaming of a land they can call their own, the indigenous peoples of the twelve sitios in the hinterland village of Pichon, Caraga finally received the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) Wednesday May 8, that gave them legal ownership over their ancestral lands.

Winding several kilometers through the serpentine road to the peak portion of the village in Sitio Sangab, officials from the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Environment and Natural Resources and government officials led by Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon handed over the title to the indigenous peoples.

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Governor Malanyaon receives a plaque of recognition from the Council of Elders led by he current tribal chieftain, Likid Copertino Banugan.

Through the CADT, the tribe has been given the right to ownership over the ancestral domain and is assured that neither outsiders could exploit the land’s resources nor they would face counterclaims after the title is issued to them.

Governor Malanyaon congratulated the indigenous people for finally achieving their dream of claiming their ancestors’ land. “This is testament of your determination and unity as a people,” she told them.

This CADT is the first in the region that was conferred to the IPs of Sangab, Caraga, Davao Oriental, as well as the first ancestral domain title registered in the Registry of Deeds.

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“This victory took great sacrifices from your elders,” Gov. Malanyaon told the community, acknowledging the efforts of the community elders who have endured vast struggles just to leave this legacy behind.

Previously called CADC where only 5,000 hectares of delineated land was allocated to the tribe, it was later converted to CADT, which was approved last December 17, 2013 through the RA 8371 or Indigenous Peoples Rights Acts (IPRA Law) which then allowed the expansion on the area of coverage to more than 14,500 hectares of ancestral lands.

Atty. Leonor O. Quintayo, NCIP Chairperson thanked the DENR, who was the first to set a portion of land to the ‘lumads’.

“This is a notice to the whole world that this portion of land in Sangab is legally owned by indigenous cultural communities of Mandaya,” she said.

The Council of Elders

The Council of Elders

She commended the lumads for their unity, which she said are rarely exhibited in other Mandaya tribes. “Not all tribes have this kind of bond. You portray the genuine picture of the Indigenous Peoples of Mandaya.”

Meanwhile, Atty. Quintayo reminded the IPs that the IPRA law does not merely talk of the indigenous people’s rights but also encompasses their obligations. “Now that the foundation of ownership to your ancestral land is set, your leaders have also their fair share of obligations.”

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Mandaya people in Sangab at the gallery

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Governor Malanyaon joins the cheerful crowd in jovial dancing after the awarding of the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT)

Among these responsibilities is that decision-making should undergo consultation with the whole community, especially if it concerns the interest of the majority. Another is maintaining transparency and equal distribution of income inside the ancestral domain and more importantly their duty for the protection of the environment.

In addition, the land could neither be sold nor be used as collateral to loans.  As their lasting gift to the future generations, she reminded the IPs that this title should be cherished and protected.

Meanwhile, manifesting unadulterated culture and traditions that are very evident in their day-to-day lives, Governor Malanyaon will dedicate a section of the Subangan Provincial Museum specifically for exhibition of the Mandayan culture for everyone to behold. She said she wants the world to see the IPs of Sangab as models in all the tribes as they have proudly preserved their culture and traditions even with the influence of the modern times.

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More Gifts

Aside from finally having legal ownership over their lands, more than 700 residents in Brgy. Pichon, including the IP community in Sangab received 10,000 pesos Emergency Shelter Assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development coursed thru the provincial government, intended for families whose homes were partially damaged during the onslaught of typhoon Pablo in 2012.

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The people of Sangab queuing for the P10,000 Emergency Shelter Assistance from the DSWD

 

 

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