RA08371

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1 REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES Third Regular Session } S. No. 1728 H. No. 9125 REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8371 AN ACT TO RECOGNIZE, PROTECT AND PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMUNITIES/ INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, CREATING A NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, ESTABLISHING IMPLEMENTING MECHANISMS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: CHAPTER I GENERA
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  1 R EPUBLIC OF THE P HILIPPINES C ONGRESS OF THE P HILIPPINESS. No. 1728 Third Regular Session   } H. No. 9125 R EPUBLIC  A CT N O . 8371 AN ACT TO RECOGNIZE, PROTECT AND PROMOTE THERIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMUNITIES/ INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, CREATING A NATIONALCOMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES,ESTABLISHING IMPLEMENTING MECHANISMS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHERPURPOSES  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: C HAPTER IG ENERAL P ROVISIONS S ECTION 1. Short Title . – This Act shall be known as The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. S EC . 2.  Declaration of State Policies. – The State shallrecognize and promote all the rights of Indigenous CulturalCommunities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) hereunderenumerated within the framework of the Constitution:a)The State shall recognize and promote the rights of ICCs/IPs within the framework of national unity and development;b)The State shall protect the rights of ICCs/IPs to theirancestral domains to ensure their economic, social and culturalwell being and shall recognize the applicability of customary lawsgoverning property rights or relations in determining theownership and extent of ancestral domain;c)The State shall recognize, respect and protect the rightsof ICCs/IPs to preserve and develop their cultures, traditions andinstitutions. It shall consider these rights in the formulation of national laws and policies; 64  2 d)The State shall guarantee that members of the ICCs/ IPs regardless of sex, shall equally enjoy the full measure of human rights and freedoms without distinction or discrimination;e)The State shall take measures, with the participationof the ICCs/IPs concerned, to protect their rights and guaranteerespect for their cultural integrity, and to ensure that membersof the ICCs/IPs benefit on an equal footing from the rights andopportunities which national laws and regulations grant to othermembers of the population; andf)The State recognizes its obligations to respond to thestrong expression of the ICCs/IPs for cultural integrity by assuringmaximum ICC/IP participation in the direction of education,health, as well as other services of ICCs/IPs, in order to rendersuch services more responsive to the needs and desires of thesecommunities.Towards these ends, the State shall institute and establishthe necessary mechanisms to enforce and guarantee the realizationof these rights, taking into consideration their customs, traditions,values, beliefs, interests and institutions, and to adopt andimplement measures to protect their rights to their ancestraldomains.C HAPTER IID EFINITION OF T ERMS S EC . 3.  Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Act,the following terms shall mean:a)  Ancestral Domains - Subject to Section 56 hereof, referto all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs comprising lands,inland waters, coastal areas, and natural resources therein, heldunder a claim of ownership, occupied or possessed by ICCs/IPs,by themselves or through their ancestors, communally orindividually since time immemorial, continuously to the presentexcept when interrupted by war,  force majeure or displacementby force, deceit, stealth or as a consequence of government projectsor any other voluntary dealings entered into by government andprivate individuals/corporations, and which are necessary to  3 ensure their economic, social and cultural welfare. It shall includeancestral lands, forests, pasture, residential, agricultural, andother lands individually owned whether alienable and disposableor otherwise, hunting grounds, burial grounds, worship areas,bodies of water, mineral and other natural resources, and landswhich may no longer be exclusively occupied by ICCs/IPs butfrom which they traditionally had access to for their subsistenceand traditional activities, particularly the home ranges of ICCs/ IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting cultivators;b)  Ancestral Lands - Subject to Section 56 hereof, refersto land occupied, possessed and utilized by individuals, familiesand clans who are members of the ICCs/IPs since timeimmemorial, by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, under claims of individual or traditional group ownership,continuously, to the present except when interrupted by war,  force majeure or displacement by force, deceit, stealth, or as aconsequence of government projects and other voluntary dealingsentered into by government and private individuals/corporations,including, but not limited to, residential lots, rice terraces orpaddies, private forests, swidden farms and tree lots;c) Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title - refers to a titleformally recognizing the rights of possession and ownership of ICCs/IPs over their ancestral domains identified and delineatedin accordance with this law;d) Certificate of Ancestral Lands Title - refers to a titleformally recognizing the rights of ICCs/IPs over their ancestrallands;e) Communal Claims - refer to claims on land, resourcesand rights thereon, belonging to the whole community within adefined territory;f) Customary Laws - refer to a body of written and/orunwritten rules, usages, customs and practices traditionally andcontinually recognized, accepted and observed by respective ICCs/ IPs;  4 g)  Free and Prior Informed Consent - as used in this Actshall mean the consensus of all members of the ICCs/IPs to bedetermined in accordance with their respective customary lawsand practices, free from any external manipulation, interferenceand coercion, and obtained after fully disclosing the intent andscope of the activity, in a language and process understandable tothe community;h)  Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples- refer to a group of people or homogenous societies identified byself-ascription and ascription by others, who have continuouslylived as organized community on communally bounded and definedterritory, and who have, under claims of ownership since timeimmemorial, occupied, possessed and utilized such territories,sharing common bonds of language, customs, traditions and otherdistinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance topolitical, social and cultural inroads of colonization, non-indigenousreligions and cultures, became historically differentiated fromthe majority of Filipinos. ICCs/IPs shall likewise include peopleswho are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent fromthe populations which inhabited the country, at the time of conquest or colonization, or at the time of inroads of non-indigenousreligions and cultures, or the establishment of present stateboundaries, who retain some or all of their own social, economic,cultural and political institutions, but who may have been displacedfrom their traditional domains or who may have resettled outsidetheir ancestral domains;i)  Indigenous Political Structures - refer to organizationaland cultural leadership systems, institutions, relationships,patterns and processes for decision-making and participation,identified by ICCs/IPs such as, but not limited to, Council of Elders, Council of Timuays, Bodong Holders, or any other tribunalor body of similar nature; j)  Individual Claims - refer to claims on land and rightsthereon which have been devolved to individuals, families andclans including, but not limited to, residential lots, rice terracesor paddies and tree lots;
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