CITY OF BUTUAN – President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday spearheaded the awarding of six Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) to various Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities in the Caraga region.
Duterte handed over the titles to the tribal chiefs representing the six CADTs with a total area of 209,170 hectares, covering parts of Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte.
Datu Randy Catarman, tribal leader of a tribal estate in the Agusan del Norte towns of Jabonga and Kicharao, thanked Duterte for his concern for the area’s tribal communities.
“It is important that today we IPs have legal recognition of our ancestral domain. And we are grateful to the Duterte administration for approving and releasing our title,” Catarman said in an interview.
Catarman said they started applying for a tribal domain title for an area comprising five IP communities in the towns of Jabonga, Kitcharao and Mainit as early as 2006.
“I am grateful to the President for finally awarding our CADT,” he said, adding that their tribal domain is inhabited by over 2,000 members.
He also acknowledged the support of the staff of the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples of Agusan del Norte and Caraga in processing their request.
In a statement, NCIP-13 said 12 CADTs were officially approved and recognized in Caraga during President Duterte’s tenure.
A CADT, as defined by Republic Act 8371, or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), is a land title that formally recognizes the possession and ownership rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICC/ IP) on their ancestral domains.
The IPRA Act describes CADTs as the backbone of the intellectual property communities in the country. (NAP)