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#IndigenousPeoplesDay: Documenting Customary Processes in the Philippines

Given the reality that the majority of members from indigenous cultural communities are  assimilated with foreign influences and ideologies, the right to self-determination as the foundation of ancestral domain governance remains a challenge.

The indigenous Talaandig, Higaonon and Bukidnon communities of Bukidnon, Philippines are not exempted from this trend. During the previous decades, even with the adoption of R.A. No. 8371 otherwise known as the IPRA law, it is noted that decision-making and consensus-building processes within the community and the ancestral domain, in general, is already going far beyond customary regulations, traditions and tribal practices as defined under the principles of the “agpangan”, “gantangan”and “timbangan”.

In order to provide better and clearer guidance to community leaders, particularly with the indigenous political structure (IPS) as the governing body of the ancestral domain, the publication titled “CUSTOMARY CONSENSUS AND DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES CONCERNING ACTIVITIES, PLANS, PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS WITHIN THE MOUNT PALAOPAO, UPPER MANGIMA AND UPPER KULAMAN ANCESTRAL DOMAIN” has been launched. This is a good reference material not only to the tribe itself, but also to all social actors and stakeholders who intend to introduce “development” within the ancestral domain of the Talaandig, Higaonon and Bukidnon indigenous cultural communities.

Definitely, the publication can serve as a safety net in order to wisely and justly manage the remaining rich resources of the Mount Palaopao, Upper Kulaman and Upper Mangima ancestral domain.


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