Indigenous Peoples Rights Act 1997 (Republic Act No. 8371 of 1997). | Land Portal

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The Act makes provision for the promotion and recognition of the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs), with a view to preserve their culture, traditions and institutions and to ensure the equal protection and non-discrimination of members. The Act is divided into the following Chapters: General Provisions (I); Definition of Terms (II); Rights to Ancestral Domains (III); Right to Self-governance and Empowerment (IV); Social Justice and Human Rights (V); Cultural Integrity (VI); National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) (VII); Delineation and Recognition of Ancestral Domains (VIII); Jurisdiction and Procedures for Enforcement of Rights (IX); Ancestral Domains Fund (X); Penalties (XI); Merger of the Office for Northern Cultural Communities (ONCC) and the Office for Southern Cultural Communities (OSCC) (XII); Final Provisions (XIII).According to the definition provided in Chapter II the term "ancestral domain" comprises "lands, inland waters, coastal areas and natural resources therein, held under a claim of ownership, occupied or possessed by ICCs/IPs, by themselves or through their ancestors, communally or individually since time immemorial..."; the term "ancestral land" means any "land occupied, possessed and utilized by individuals, families and clans who are members of the ICCs/IPs....".ICCs/IPs whose ancestral domains have been officially delineated and determined according to the procedure set out in this Act shall be issued a certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT) in the name of the community concerned, which shall be registered before the Register of Deeds. The rights of ownership and possession of ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains shall include: (a) the right of ownership; (b) the right to develop, control and use lands and natural resources; (c) the right to stay in the territories and not to be removed therefrom; (d) the right of resettlement in suitable sites in case of displacement; (e) the right to regulate the entry of immigrants; (f) the right to safe and clean air and water; (g) the right to claim parts of reservations; (h) the right to resolve land conflicts in accordance with customary laws of the area concerned (only in default thereof the complaints shall be submitted to amicable settlement and to the Courts of Justice ).The Act makes provision for the establishment of the National Commission on Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), which shall serve as the primary government agency for the assistance of ICCs/IPs. The Commission shall inter alia: (a) review and assess the conditions of ICCs/IPs; (b) formulate, coordinate and implement policies, plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the ICCs/IPs; (c) request and engage services of technical assistance; (d) issue certificate of ancestral land/domain title; (e) negotiate for funds and in general be responsible for the financial management and coordination of the communities; (f) issue appropriate certification as a pre-condition to the grant of permit, lease, grant, or any other similar authority for the disposition, utilization, management and appropriation by any private individual, etc. on any part or portion of the ancestral domain; (g) decide all appeals from the decisions and acts of all the various Offices within the Commission; (h) to promulgate the necessary regulations and rules for the implementation of the Act.Chapter X provides for the creation of the Ancestral Domains Fund to cover compensation for expropriated lands, delineation and development of ancestral domains.

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