THE city council, in a resolution ratified by the city mayor, has joined the clamor for the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to establish formal guidelines for the listing of recognized ancestral lands and domains in local government land registries to legitimize them as private lands.
Councilor Arthur Allad-iw said Resolution No. 477 Series of 2023 urged the NCIP to finally issue Land Registration Authority (LRA)’s requested guidelines covering “the registration of Transfer Certificates of Titles or derivative titles (subdivided properties) emanating from originally issued CALT.”
The formal resolution was spurred on by a 2022 Department of Justice legal opinion that Certificates of Ancestral Land or Domain Titles (CALT or CADT) are legitimate documents that should be honored by all agencies in the course of public transactions like applications for building permits.
CALTs and CADTs, under the 1997 Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (Republic Act No. 8371), are required to be registered in their local government’s Register of Deeds, but due to the lack of guidelines to fit CALTs and CADTs into the system for land registrations that were designed for more conventional Torrens titles, many CALTs and CADTs are yet to be registered in Baguio’s Register of Deeds, according to the council.
The LRA asked the NCIP for a distinct set of registry guidelines for ancestral land titles way back in 2016, according to NCIP Cordillera legal officer, Arthur Herman, during the regular city council session on July 31, but to date, the NCIP’s sitting en banc has yet to act on the request.