The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently conducted a dialogue with the representatives of the B’laan clans to clarify issues on the proposed DAR settlement project in Tampakan and Tupi, South Cotabato.
DAR Undersecretary for Finance, Planning and Administration Office (FPAO) Atty. David D. Erro said the clan filed a complaint before the Office of the DAR Secretary (OSEC) to cancel certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) because they claim that the areas are ancestral lands and is part of the ancestral domain of the B'laan Indigenous Cultural Communities.
Erro assured the clans that they will be apprised of the development of their claims and meet again to finalize the details of the case.
"We only want the future generation of our clans to benefit from the land we inherited from our ancestors,” said Bai Dalena Samling, chieftain of the Danlag tribal council of B’laan clans of Tampakan.
On March 29, 1983, by Virtue of Proclamation No. 2282, a proposed DAR Settlement Project within the Municipality of Tampakan was promulgated. The barangays covered were: Danlag, Tablu, Pula Bato, Palo 19, portions of Lampitak and portions of barangay Cacub of Koronadal.
Right after the B’laan clans of Tampakan, the DAR also had a dialogue with the 14 B’laan clans of Tupi led by Fulong/Ptr. Pony G. Dawang and other clan leaders over 14 CLOAs awarded to the Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (DARBC) based in Brgy. Cannery Site, Polomolok.
Same as that of the B’laan clans of Tampakan, the 14 B’laan clans of Tupi also claim part of the land awarded to DARBC as ancestral domain.
“We are willing for a compromise agreement to be set among our clans and DARBC that will be beneficial to all, especially to our children”, said Dawang.
The negotiation was led by the DAR Undersecretary for Finance, Planning and Administration Office (FPAO) Atty. David D. Erro, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Regional Director Woy Lim P. Wong, NCIP provincial officer Myrna Garcia and DAR South Cotabato provincial agrarian reform officer H. Roldan A. Ali. (Kathleen S. Pagayon)
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