NCIP to partner with LGUs, NHA on IP housing projects

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct. 15 (PIA) -- National Housing Authority (NHA) has available funds to help build houses for the indigenous communities, but that would need counterpart funds for the purchase of the lot.

This was shared by National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Bohol during the recent Kapihan sa PIA here held to mark the 23rd anniversary of the enactment of the Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) Rights Act in October. 

GETTING KIDS TO SUSTAIN THE UNIQUE CULTURE. While the NCIP is helping indigenous people have decent homes, it is dissuading others from adulterating the culture which these natives have been practicing. (PIA Bohol)

Bohol NCIP team led by Sisinio “Boy” Amplayo said he hopes they could engage local governments to put up the counterpart funds for this. 

Faced with the enormous task of introducing a 23-year old law that is hardly read by most, the NCIP in Bohol has modestly rated its accomplishments as far as cascading the law that protects the IPs and their communities is concerned.

Amplayo and NCIP Information Officer Emmilou Gonzaga both bared that working with indigenous peoples, especially in Bohol where there are three of such groups with different cultures, is both a challenge and a test of commitment especially with the law that is not so understood by many.

NCIP Bohol works with three of the 110 recognized indigenous groups in the country, namely: Eskaya, Badjao (which resettled in Bohol from Zamboanga Peninsula), and the Ati (which resettled from Panay Island and Iloilo since 1950s). 

By indigenous people, NCIP means homogenous self-ascribed or others ascribed tribes identities, who have continuously occupied a community with defined limits, share common language, customs, traditions, cultural traits and have kept their way of life protected from invasion of foreign or alien culture, Gonzaga explained.

While the Eskaya have occupied territories since their ancestors can recall, it is a different case with the Ati and Badjaos.

For the Eskaya, based on the last survey of the ancestral domains claim, they have 3,175 hectares of lands in barangays Taytay Duero, Biabas Guindulman, Cantaub Sierra Bullones, and Lundag in Pilar.

They are already self-governing as they have also elected their leaders.

There may be some issues on some portions of the ancestral claims, Amplayo said, but they have initiated the segregation of issued certificates of land ownership awards as well as other issued legal instruments that run counter to the ancestral domains claim of the tribe.

However, the case is different for the Badjaos and the Ati.

Resettling here in private properties, the government is now trying to make arrangements for these indigenous peoples to have a properly they can call as their own.

"We used to have arrangements on a Badjao resettlement in Bingag. It did not work out. Then there was one in Loon, and still it did not work out," said Amplayo who has succeeded in seeking congressional help for the funds for lot acquisition for the resettlement site.

But Badjaos, sea gypsies in their own right, have their way of life that can never be taken away from the sea.

For the Ati, arrangements with the local government unit have already apparently shown good results.

A priest of the Diocese of Tagilaran has helped put up houses for some members of the ATI tribe here, and this has become a good start, according to Amplayo.

As for the Badjaos, the least understood IPs in the region, they still have challenges up ahead but with local governments doing something with them, the resettled tribe in Dauis have found help in organizing their tribe. 

With groups interested in helping the NCIP in communities, they have become hopeful that the tribes may have a better future. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

Post a Comment