By ALMA B. SINUMLAG
BAGUIO CITY — In order to solve the lingering problem relative to Indigenous Peoples (IP) land issues, congressman Teodoro Brawner Baguilat Jr of Ifugao who also chairs the house committee on National Cultural Communities (NCC) will be calling a meeting to harmonize the conflicting laws of several government agencies incharge of the abovementioned issue.
Baguilat mentioned four government agencies that will be attending the meeting that his committee will be calling. These are the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Land Registration Authority (LRA). He said, the agencies were chosen because most of the problems encountered by the IPs when it comes to the ownership of land and IP land issue as a whole are the conflicting laws of these agencies. He aims of harmonizing the said conflicting rules and come-up with one uniform set of rules as a result of the meeting.
Baguilat cited some of these problems like the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) given by the DAR within the ancestral domain; the DENR declaring an area as protected area hence, Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) is not allowed to be issued. He also recognized the issue raised by Amador Batay-an, the regional director of the NCIP relative to their joint memorandum circular with the LRA.
Batay-an shared that the said joint memorandum circular stated that before a CADT will be registered in the registry of deeds, all the titled lots must be delineated within the CADT with all its technical descriptions. This, he said is causing the delay of the CADT registration. He added that if they will follow this procedure, it will take time, effort and money.
Congressman Maximo Dalog of Mt Province recommended that if that specific part of the memorandum circular is really causing the delay of CADT registration, the NCIP and LRA should talk in order to amend the said memorandum and waive the said requirement. However, Batay-an reiterated that the NCIP is willing to waive that requirement but the LRA according to him insists that it should remain.
Baguilat then said, “these are several examples of the rules of government agencies that we must look into”. He iterated that during their meeting, they will come-up with a consensus on which rules will be adopted to govern specific IP land issues. He added that after identifying and adopting the rules, they will put it on paper in a form of a joint memorandum circular which will be forwarded to the offices of the said agencies nationwide to be implemented.
Baguilat reiterated that the joint memorandum circular will solve the lingering problems on IP land issues. He also added that the said memorandum will also solve the issue with the NCIP and the LRA relative to the problem raised by Batay-an since the two agencies are both attending the meeting. # nordis.net