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Republic of the Philippines
PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
(R.A. 7611)
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

PCSD RESOLUTION NO. 93-38A

RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE GUIDELINES FOR THE IDENTIFICATION AND DELINEATION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAIN AND LAND CLAIMS IN PALAWAN

Pursuant to Republic Act No. 7611 which empowers the Palawan Council For Sustainable Development (PCSD) to govern, implement and give policy direction to the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan, and which provides for the recognition of tribal ancestral lands as a main component of the Environmentally Critical Critical Areas Network (ECAN), and consistent with the policy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on the due recognition of ancestral land and domain claims, the following guidelines are hereby promulgated to cover ancestral DENR Department Administrative Order No. 2, Series of 1993 pertaining to the identification, delineation and recognition of ancestral land and domain claims.

CHAPTER I
POLICY AND OBJECTIVES

Section 1. Basic Policy - It is the policy of the PCSD to preserve and maintain the integrity of ancestral domains and ensure recognition of the customs and traditions of the indigenous communities of Palawan pursuant to the Constitutional mandated for the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous communities (Ics) and the SEP's provisions on tribal ancestral lands.

Moreover, the PCSD recognizes the importance of promoting indigenous ways for the sustainable management of the natural resources such as the ecologically sound traditional practices of the indigenous communities of Palawan.

Accordingly, the PCSD shall define a special kind of zonation for areas traditionally occupied by indigenous communities to fulfill the material and cultural needs of the tribes.

Section 2. Objectives - The objectives of the PCSD in the identification and delineation of ancestral land and domain claims are the following:

  1. To protect the tenure of the indigenous communities of Palawan over ancestral lands and domains and to preserve their culture;
  2. To pursue the Constitutional mandate for equitable access to natural resources; and
  3. To ensure sustainable development of natural resources within the ancestral lands and domains especially the forests.

CHAPTER II
DEFINITION OF TERMS

Section 1. Definition of Terms - For purposes of these guidelines, the definitions found in existing laws, administrative issuances and related studies for the following terms are hereby adopted:

  1. Indigenous Communities (ICs) - a homogenous society who have continuously lived as community on communally bounded and defined territory, sharing common bonds of language, customs traditions and other distinctive cultural traits, and who, through resistance to the political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos
  2. Ancestral Domain - refers to all lands and natural resources occupied or possessed by indigenous communities, by themselves or through their ancestors, communally or individually, in accordance with their customs and traditions since time immemorial continuously to the present except when interrupted by war, force meisure, or displacement by force, deceit or stealth.
  3. Ancestral Land - refers to land occupied possessed and utilized by individuals, families or clans who are members of the indigenous communities since time immemorial by themeselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, continuously to the present except when interrupted by war, force meisure or displacement by force, deceit or stealth.
  4. Individual Claim - refers to claims on land and rights thereon, which have been divolved to individuals, e.g. residential lots, rice terraces or paddies, tree lots.
  5. Indigenous Corporate Claim - refers to claims on land, resources and rights thereon belonging to the whole community within a defined territory.
  6. Communal Claim - refers to claims on lands, resources and rights thereon belonging to the whole community within a defined territory.
  7. Customary Laws - refers to a body or rules, usages, custom and practices traditionally observe, accepts and recognized by the indigenous cultural communities.
  8. Time Immemorial - refers to a period of time where as far back as memory can go, a certain indigenous community is known to have occupied, possessed, and operation of customary law or inherited from their ancestors in accordance with their customs and traditions.
  9. Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands (CSTFAL) - refers to the Special Task Force based in specific Community Environment and Natural Resources identification, delineation and recognition of ancestral land claims as defined in these guidelines. The PCSD Committee on Tribal Affair and Local Government Units shall be represented in these Task.
  10. Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domains (PSTFAD) - refers to the Special Task Force based in the office of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Officer (PENRO) of Palawan which is responsible for the identification, delineation, recognition and management of ancestral domain claims as defined in these guidelines. The PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs shall be represented in this Provincial Special Task Force.
  11. Non-Government Organization (NGO) - refers to a private, nonprofit voluntary organization that has been organized primarily for the delivery of various services to the indigenous communities and has and establish track record for effectiveness and acceptability in the community where it is serving.
  12. People's Organization (PO) - refers to a private, non- profit voluntary organization of members of an indigenous community which is accepted as representative of such community.

CHAPTER III
COVERAGE OF ANCESTRAL LANDS AND DOMAINS

Section 1. Composition of Ancestral Lands - Unless Congress otherwise provides and subject to evidence, ancestral land shall consist of lands occupied, possessed or utilized by individuals, families or clans who are members of the indigenous communities since time immemorial by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, continuously to the present except when interupted by war, force majeure or displacement b force, deceit or stealth, including but not limited to residential lots, rice terraces or peddies, private forest, swidden farms and tree lots.

Section 2. Composition of Ancestral Domains - Unless otherwise Congress provides and subject to evidence, ancestral domains shall consist of all territories possessed, occupied or d utilized by indigenous communities, by themselves or through their ancestors or predecessors-in-interest since time immemorial in accordance with their customary laws, traditions and practices, irrespective of their present land classification and utilization, including but not limited to such lands used for residences, farms, burial ground, communal and/or private forests, pasture and hunting grounds, worship areas, individually owned land whether alineable/disposable or otherwise and other natural resources.

Section 3. Participation of Ancestral Domains - Customary laws and traditions governing property rights or relations within ancestral domains shall be respected.

CHAPTER IV
IDENTIFICATION , DELINEATION AND CERTIFICATION OF
ANCESTRAL DOMAIN CLAIMS

Section 1. Information Dissemination - Upon effectivity of these guidelines, the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs shall coordinate with the Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domains (PSTFAD) and Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands. (CSTFAL) in Palawan formed under DENR DAO No. 2 Series of 1993, the Local Government Units (LUG's) Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), People's Organizations (Pos) and the Provincial Office of the Southern Cultural Communities (OSCC), in conducting an information campaign on the program for the identification and delineation of ancestral land and domain claims. The information campaign shall include meetings with Organization, and Local Government Officials.

Section 2. Identification of Indigenous Communities - After the initial stage of the information campaign, the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs shall coordinate with the PSTFAD, the Provincial OSCC, appropriate NGOs and Pos in identifying and preparing an official list of the indigenous communities found in identifying ancestral domain claims in the area.

Section 3. Identification of Boundaries - After the formal identification of Ics in the province, the PCSD Committee on Task Force on Ancestral Domain (PSTFAD) in conducting meetings with the respective traditional councils and/or Elders of each indigenous community within the province in order to make a preliminary identification of the natural boundaries of their respective ancestral domains, which boundaries shall be traced upon a topographic map of the province. Concerned representatives from LGUs, NGOs, POs and OSCC shall be invited to these meetings.

Section 4. Publication of Ancestral Domain Claims - The PSTFAD in Palawan shall, upon establishment of ancestral domain claims in accordance with the preceding Section, cause the publication of a list of such claims in at least to newspapers of provincial circulation and the posting of the same in at least two public places nearest the location of the claims to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within 15 days from date of such publications. Provided, that in areas where no newspaper exist, the latter shall be deemed sufficient.

Section 5. Submission of Proofs of Ancestral Domain Claims - Fifteen (15) days after such publication, the indigenous community concerned shall submit documentary proofs supportive of its claim over the identified territory. The PSTFAD shall acknowledge receipt thereof and shall compare the same with photocopies of such documents and if found to be faithful reproduction thereof, shall authenticate and accept them and return the originals to the claimants. Proof of such claim shall include the testimony of elders or community under oath and other documents directly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by such indigenous community in the concept of owners, which shall be any of the following:

  1. Written accounts of the indigenous community's customs and traditions;
  2. Written accounts of the indigenous community's political structure and institutions.
  3. Pictures showing long term occupation such as those of old improvements, burial grounds, sacred places and old villages;
  4. Historical accounts;
  5. Survey plans and sketch maps;
  6. Anthropological data;
  7. Genealogical surveys;
  8. Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional communal forest and hunting ground:
  9. Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional landmarks such as mountains, rivers creeks, ridges, hills, terraces and the like;
  10. Write-ups of names and place derived from the native dialect of the community.

Section 6. Ocular Inspection and Verification - Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the documentary proofs of ancestral domain claim, the PSTFAD concerned shall conduct an ocular inspection of the territory claimed in order to establish the veracity of the proofs and shall prepare a report of its findings.

Section 7. Resolution of Claims - Within fifteen (15) days after the completion of the inspection and verification process, the PSTFAD shall favorably act upon any claim that is deemed to be sufficiently proved. However, when proof submitted is deemed insufficient, the PSTFAD shall require the submission of additional evidence.

The PSTFAD shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification. Provided, that in case of rejection, the PSTFAD shall give the applicant notice thereof, copy furnished all concerned, containing the grounds thereof.

In cases where there are conflicting claims among indigenous communities on the boundaries of ancestral on the boundaries of ancestral domain claims, the PSTFAD shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict in order to pave the way for the survey, without prejudice to the full and jurisdiction of the conflict in accordance with customary laws of the concerning parties.

Section 8. Preparation of Provincial Survey Plans> - Within fifteen (15) days from completion of the resolution of ancestral domain claims, the PSTFAD shall prepare a consolidated perimeter survey plan of claims within the entire province. The perimeter survey shall be conducted through the use of aerial survey and mapping technology using the Global Positioning System (GPS), or in case this is not possible, by traditional ground survey method.

Representatives of indigenous community claimants shall participate in the survey process by being on hand to identify specific landmarks indicating the exact boundaries of their ancestral domain claims.

Section 9. Transmittal of Documents and Record of Surveys - Within fifteen (15) days from the resolution of all ancestral domain claims in the province, the PSTFAD shall make a report of the same and shall submit copies of the resolutions and the provincial survey plan to the Office of the DENR Regional Executive Director for Region IV and the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs for evaluation and approval.

All such surveys will be marked in the control map of the PCSD staff and the DENR Region IV Office.

Section 10. Certification of Ancestral Domain Claim - Upon recommendation of the DENR Regional Executive Director and the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs, a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) declaring and certifying the claims of each indigenous cultural community over a corresponding territory earlier identified and delineated as ancestral domain shall be issued in the name of the indigenous community claimant and placed under the custody of its recognized indigenous socio-political leadership or people's organization, copy furnished a CENRO under which jurisdiction the domain concerned is located.

The issuance of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim will not prejudice all rights vested in the indigenous community by a Presidential or Legislative Proclamation of a civil or political reserve or by existing laws, rules and regulations.

Section 11. Contracts Leases and Permits within Ancestral Domains - Contracts entered into as well as licenses and permits issued by the DENR and the LGUs for the exploitation and utilization of natural resources inside ancestral domains shall remain in forces and effect until the term of the agreement shall have expired unless earlier revoked or cancelled for non-compliance or violation of any of its and conditions. Thereafter, except for those issued to members of the indigenous communities, such contracts shall be renewed only upon written consent of the IC concerned.

Section 12. Implementation of Government Programs Within the Ancestral Domain - All programs under the control of the PCSD and other government agencies shall not be implemented within any ancestral domain without the written consent of the indigenous cultural community concerned signed its behalf by a majority of its recognized leaders. Should the community give its consent, it shall be given ample participation in the planning implementation and maintenance of the program.

Section 13. Safeguards Against Enroachment - The ancestral domain over which an indigenous cultural community claim has been certified shall be places under the exclusive management of such community. Accordingly, no person who is not a bona fide resident of the area or who does not belong to the claimant community shall be given any permit, license or other legal instruments to enter the area for the purpose of exploiting the resource therein, without the collective consent in writing of the community expressed through public hearings and consultations with them.

CHAPTER V
IDENTIFICATION, DELINEATION AND CERTIFICATION OF ANCESTRAL LAND CLAIMS

Section 1. Allocation of Lands Within Ancestral Domain Claims - The allocation of lands within any ancestral domain claim to individual or indigenous community concerned to decide in accordance with its customs and traditions.

Section 2. Identification Ancestral Land Claims - Individual and indigenous corporate claimants of ancestral land which are not within recognized ancestral domains, may have their claims officially established by filing applications for the identifications and delineation of their claims with the Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands where the land is located.

An individual or recognized head of a family or clan, may file such application his behalf of his family or clan, respectively.

Section 3. Proofs of Ancestral Land Claims - The Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Land shall accept applications of ancestral lands claims; provided, that proofs of such claims shall accompany the applications form which shall include the testimony under oath of elders or community and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by the individual or indigenous corporate claimants in the concept of owners, which shall be any of the following:

  1. Write-ups on customs and traditions;
  2. Pictures of old improvements such ax trees, stone walling e rice fields, orchards, farms, monuments, houses and other old structures;
  3. Pictures of burial grounds;
  4. Genealogical surveys;
  5. Historical accounts;
  6. Ancient documents;
  7. Survey plan and/or sketch maps;
  8. Tax declarations and proofs of payments of taxes

Section 4. Submission of Additional Proofs The Community Special Task Force concerned may require form each ancestral land claimant, the submission of such other documents , sworn statements and the like, which in its opinion, may shed light on the veracity of the contains of the application/claim.

Section 5. Presentation of Original Documents - In the filing of applications, an ancestral land claimant shall present the original documents in support of his applications. The Community Special Task Force concerned shall properly acknowledge receipt thereof and shall compare the same with photocopies of such documents and if found to be faithful reproductions, shall authenticate them; thereafter, the authenticated copies shall be accepted and the originals will be returned to the claimant.

Section 6. Applications Under Oath - All applications and statements made in connection with the ancestral land claims shall be under oath. The applications shall state therein that any false statement made may result in criminal liability.

Section 7. Publication of Ancestral Land Claims - Upon receipt of applications for delineation and recognition of ancestral land claims, the CSRFAL shall cause the publication of circulation and posting of the same in at least two public places nearest the location of the claims in order to allow other claimants to file their opposition thereto within 15 days from the latter shall be deemed sufficient.

Section 8. Resolution of Claims and Percellary Surveys - Fifteen (15) days after such publication, the CSFTAL shall investigate and inspect each application, and if found to be meritorious, shall issue a resolution to that effect and accordingly cause the parcellary survey of the area being claimed. However, to facilitate survey of the area being claimed. However, to facilitate survey work, the claimant may opt to hire at his own expense a private surveyor who should be dully accredited by the CSTFAL. I such cases, the CSTFAL concerned shall monitor the survey being conducted by the private surveyor.

In case of conflicting claims among individual or indigenous corporate claims, the CSTFAL shall cause the settlement of the conflict in accordance with Section 3. Chapter IX hereof.

When the proof submitted is deemed insufficient, the CSTFAL shall require the submission of additional evidence.

The CSTFAL shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification, but it shall give the applicant notice thereof, copy furnished all concerned, containing the grounds thereof.

Section 9. Issuance of Certificates of Ancestral Land Claims - The Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands shall prepare and submit to the Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domains a report on each and every applications surveyed and delineated. Thereafter, the PSTFAD, after evaluating the reports hall endorse valid ancestral land claims to the Office of the DENR Regional Executive Director and the PCSD Committee on PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs find such claims meritorious, they shall endorse the same to the DENR Secretary, through the DENR Special Concerns Office, for the issuance of Certificates of each individual or corporate (family or clan) claimant over ancestral lands.

CHAPTER VI MANAGEMENT OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS

Section 1. Management by Indigenous Community Claimants - In order to give the indigenous communities the opportunity to implement ecologically sound indigenous land use and general supervision and control over the management of their respective ancestral domain claims including the resources therein.

Section 2. Availment of Indigenous Socio-Political Structures - Unless otherwise specified by the indigenous system such as, but not limited to, Council of Elders or bodies of similar nature existing in the community shall be recognized as the decision-making and managing body within the domain.

Section 3. Preparation of Ancestral Doamins Management Plans - Within sixty (60) days from receipt of its Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim, the indigenous community concerned with assistance form the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs, Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domains, Provincial Office of the Southern Cultural Communities, and other government agencies, Local Government Units and Non-Government Institutions shall prepare a comprehensive Management Plan for the domain, considering indigenous land use and tenurial systems as well as customary laws, beliefs and traditional practices of the community.

The Management Plan shall among others, take into consideration the following issues;

  1. indigenous community participation in the protection conservation, development and exploitation of natural resources in the area;
  2. protection and maintenance of the indigenous community rights over livelihood sources;
  3. provision of supplemental source of livelihood;
  4. encroachment of the domain by outsiders;
  5. treatment an participation of non-ICC members inside the ancestral balance therein;
  6. prevention of degradation of the domain and maintenance of ecological balance therein;
  7. resolution of overlapping claims and boundary conflicts;
  8. maintenance of the community's indigenous socio-cultural and spiritual integrity;
  9. rehabilitation of denuded forest areas;
  10. provision of needed technical and financial assistance
  11. inter-agency participation;
  12. census of IC population inside the ancestral domain.

Section 4. Implementation of Management Plan - The ancestral Domains Management Plan shall be implemented by the indigenous community claimants themselves with the assistance of the PSTFAD, the PCSD, locally-based NGOs or other agencies chosen by the indigenous community. In case of cooperative efforts, the parties shall endeavor to enter, together with the indigenous community concerned, into a memorandum of agreement specifying the type of assistance each party undertakes to contribute and memorandum of agreement shall form part of the Management or Development Plan.

CHAPTER VII RIGHTS AND REPONSIBILITIES OF CLAIMS

Section 1. Rights and Responsibilities of Ancestral Domain Claimants

A. Rights

  1. The rights to benefit and to share the profits from the allocation and utilization of natural resources within the domain;
  2. The right to regulate in coordination with the Local Government Units concerned, the entry of migrant settlers, non-government organizations and other similar entities into the domain;
  3. The right to negotiate the terms and conditions for the exploitation of natural resources in the area for the purpose of ensuring the observance of ecological, environmental protection and customary laws, rules and regulations;
  4. The right to actively and collectively participate in the formulations and implementation of government projects within the domain;
  5. The right to lay claim on adjacent areas which may, after a more careful and through investigation, be proven to be fact part of the ancestral domain;
  6. The right to access and availment of technical, financial and other form of assistance provided for the PCSD, LGUs, DENR and other government agencies;
  7. The right to claim ownership of all improvements made b them at any time within the ancestral domain.

B. - The community claimants shall have the responsibility to:

  1. Prepare a Management Plan for the domain in consonance with the provisions of Chapter VI hereof;
  2. Establish and activate indigenous practices or culturally-founded strategies to protect, conserve and develop the natural resources and wildlife sanctuaries in the domain;
  3. Restore, preserve and maintain a balanced ecology in the ancestral domain by protecting flora, fauna, watershed area, and other forest and mineral reserves;
  4. Protect and conserve forest trees and other vegetation naturally growing on the land especially along rivers, stream and channels;
  5. Preservation of natural features of the domain.

Section 2. Rights and Responsibilities of Ancestral Land Claimants

A. Rights

  1. The right to peacefully occupy and cultivate the land, and utilize the natural resources therein, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations applicable thereto;
  2. The right of the heirs to succeed to the claims subject o existing rules and regulations;
  3. The right to exclude from the claim any other person who does no belong to the family or clan;
  4. The right to utilize trees and other forest products inside the ancestral land subject to these rules as well as customary laws;

B. Responsibilities

  1. The responsibility to manage and work on the land in accordance with indigenous and other appropriate land uses, methods and practices;
  2. Effect the parcellary survey of the area being claimed;
  3. Protect and conserve the forest growth within the area and cooperate in the protection and conservation of the forest areas adjacent thereto;
  4. Preserve monuments and other landmarks indicating corners and outline of boundaries within the area;
  5. Prevent and suppress destructive fires within and in the vicinity of the ancestral claim;
  6. Refrain from cutting or harvesting naturally growing trees along rivers, stream and channels.

CHAPTER VIII
PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION AND MANAGEMENT

Section 1. Major Responsibilities Areas - The PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs shall coordinate with the Provincial and implementation of the project, with the technical assistance of the PCSD Staff and Local Government Units and provincial government agencies.

Section 2. Level of Priority - This shall be accorded priority status as part of the Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) strategy.

Section 3. Sources of Funds - The implementation of the project shall be funded from available sources within the PCSD and from other agencies or entities, public or private, who may be willing contribute to this endeavor.

CHAPTER IX GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Distinct and Special Treatment of Ancestral Lands and Domains - Ancestral domain and land claims shall be created as a special kind of zone under the Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) strategy of the SEP. Once an area is identified and delineated as ancestral land or coastal/marine zone, or if previously identified as part of existing territorial or coastal/marine zones, the same shall cease to be part of these zones.

Section 2. National Interest - Ancestral domain and land claims or portions thereof, which are found to be necessary for critical watershed, particularly for domestic water use, wildlife sanctuaries, wilderness, forest cover, or reforestation, as determined by appropriate government agencies with the full participation of the indigenous communities concerned shall be maintained, managed, protected form encroachment and developed for such purposed. The Ics within recognized ancestral domain and land claims shall be given the responsibility to maintain, develop, protect and conserve said areas within the assistance of concerned government agencies.

Should the Ics decide to transfer the responsibility over these areas, said decision must be in writing to be signed by a majority of their acknowledged leaders. The consent of the Ics should be arrived at in accordance with its customary laws. On free and informed consent. The transfer shall be temporary and will ultimately revert to the Ics in accordance with the program for technology transfer; provided further, that no IC shall be displaced or relocated for the purposes enumerated under this section without their consent.

The claimants whose claims or portions thereof fall within the above-mentioned environmentally critical areas shall under no circumstance be allowed to expand beyond what they actually occupy.

Section 3. Resolution of Conflicts - Conflicts arising form ancestral land claims shall be resolved in accordance with the customary laws of the contending parties. In default of such customary laws, the CSTGAL shall endorse the case to the Barangay Luzon concerned for amicable settlement. If this is not possible, the CSTFAL shall receive evidence from both sides of the conflict, prepare a report thereof including its recommendations and refer the same in the PSTFAD for adjudication.

Conflicts arising from Ancestral Domain Claims shall likewise be resolved in accordance with customary laws of contending parties. In default of such customary laws, the Special Provincial Task Force shall receive evidence, prepare a report thereof including its recommendations and likewise refer the same to the appropriate DENR units.

Section 4. Allienation of Claims - Domain or land claims shall not be alienated transferred or incumbered except to legal heirs and other members of the indigenous community concerned in accordance with their customs and traditions.

Section 5. Effectivity - These Guidelines shall take effect immediately.

APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 26th day November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-three in the City of Quezon, Philippines.

Certified True and Correct:

ARTHUR R. VENTURA

Executive Director and
Secretary,PCSD

APPROVED:

GOV.SALVADOR P. SOCRATES
Chairman PCSD

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