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NCIP to validate Agta lands in Naga before end of ‘23

By Paulo DS. Papa


THE National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Camarines Sur is set to conduct a re-validation of the Agta-Tabangnon community in Barangay Panicuason, here, on the last quarter of the current year.


Agosto Maglunsod, NCIP-Bicol regional director confirmed that his office requires the NCIP in Camarines Sur to accomplish first its report concerning the existing agta community in Zone 5 of the barangay before it can proceed to the plan of issuing a certificate of ancestral domain title to the community of indigenous people.


Maglunsod also said that prior to the issuance of the certificate, the commissioners in the NCIP national headquarters will study first the report for them to assess the IP including the land they occupy in Panicuason.


Agnes Salvino, NCIP provincial officer in Camarines Sur, told Bicol Mail that the re-validation is required by the NCIP national office to be able to recognize or study the ancestral domain being occupied by the tribesmen including its location in the barangay.


She said that once the IP territory is recognized, the NCIP will conduct the proceedings for the issuance of the certificate to the community which was able to prove that they were already occupying the area since time immemorial.


She said that IP elders in the community can attest to the claim that since time immemorial they were already occupying the area traditional rituals where performed by their ancestors, which are being observed and practiced until this present time.


She said that it is not the NCIP that will prove their occupancy in their domain but the community itself. The NCIP’s role is to identify the ancestral land and its boundaries based from the community. In addition to the narratives, burial places must be present in the area.


He said that once the IP community received the certificate, the tribesmen shall be assisted by the government to secure their ancestral domain from any exploitation and abuses as described by the law.


Sometime in 2020, the NCIP in Camarines Sur has already conducted validation in the area but Salvino clarified that the validation they have undertaken was conducted for purposes of determining that the inhabitants are really members of the indigenous people. She said documents and the data they collected from the community was already submitted to the NCIP national office.


Salvino admitted that the re-validation is expected to be conducted on the last quarter of the year due to similar requests from the tribes in some parts of Partido and Rinconada areas.


The total population of the Agta-Tabangnon in Barangay Panicuason has yet to be determined although the NCIP has initially recorded about 34 IP households in the community.


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