A Catholic Bishop has called on the government to pay more attention to the legitimate ancestral land claims of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) living in different parts of the country.
Bishop Valentine Dimoc, President of the Episcopal Commission of the Philippines Conference of Catholic Bishops on Indigenous Peoples (CBCP-ECIP), said ancestral domain issues remain among the key challenges facing intellectual property communities until now. until today.
“Many indigenous groups still do not have their CADT [certificate of ancestral domain title] and are still struggling,” Dimoc said.
“And sometimes there is no NCIP [National Commission on Indigenous Peoples] to help them,” he said.
The Bishop was speaking at the national observance of the 45th Sunday of Indigenous Peoples at Upper Sirib in the southern Philippine town of Calinan District in Davao on October 9.
Addressing the Bagobo-Klata tribe, he told them they were “blessed” to have an NCIP looking after them.
“I’m sure your NCIP here, and your government, church, and other organizations are compassionate, merciful, and loving that they’ve worked for and helped you get your CADT. Sana all [I hope that is true for all]added Dimoc, using a modern Filipino slogan.
This year’s national IP Sunday celebration was hosted by the Archdiocese of Davao in partnership with ECIP.
Various activities took place during the day including dialogues, tree planting and Mass celebrated by Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and former CBCP President.
The event also took place a day after “Panagtagbo 2022”, a local celebration of IP “culture, faith and life”.
Image credits: Nikko Balbedina