Indigenous Peoples’ Struggle for Secure Land Tenure in the Philippines: Case Study of Higaonon Tribe in Opol, Mindanao

  •  Petr Drbohlav    
  •  Jiri Hejkrlik    


Indigenous peoples worldwide struggle for control over land and natural resources against encroachment of state interests, external development and commercial pressures such as agribusiness, dams, logging and mining. Their battle to protect land and natural resources is at the same time the struggle to preserve indigenous culture and traditions often inextricably linked to the land itself. The Philippine Indigenous Peoples Rights Act recognizes the indigenous peoples’ rights to their ancestral lands and domains and offers a way of improving their land tenure security. The article employs case study design to illustrate the implementation gap between the rights of indigenous peoples in law and practice and the role different stakeholders play in securing indigenous peoples’ land tenure and dealing with palm oil agribusiness and mining industries’ interests in ancestral domains on the case of Higaonon tribe in Misamis Oriental province, Mindanao. The methodology for data collection was focus group discussions and key informant interviews with representatives of tribal leaders and members, non-government organizations and government bodies. Our results indicate that conflicting laws and mandates of various government bodies and lack of coordination between them, as well as lack of resources and political will to implement the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act are important factors behind slow issuance of ancestral domain titles. At the same time, we show that significant factor in the land tenure insecurity of indigenous peoples is disunity within the tribe and conflicting interests of its members and clans used by companies to further enhance their business interests. r, regarding weaving and finishing the rim, it should be done neatly without visible welded joints, and also 5) the product quality: each part is assembled fixing by leather, inside of the product is attached by cloth as well as filled with leftover fabric. Besides, the sewing should be considerably emphasized the strength to carry weight. In addition, the overall assessment of handcraft vetiver seat cushion model is at a high level.

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