9th Igorot Cordillera BIMAAK Europe (ICBE) Consultation
April 28 – May 1, 2017
REPORT of GROUP DISCUSSION: Group No. 4
By Marilyn Aro and Ric Cuyob
Gil Catimo – Barcelona; Jeth Magoo – Vienna; Marilyn Aro-Forte – Italy and Ric Cuyob - Belgium
TITLE: Highlighting and responding to Cordillera Issues: “The Cordillera we dream of.”
This is what transpired from the personal sharing of opinions by the members of Group 4.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM AND/OR VISION OF A CORDILLERA YOU WANT TO RETURN TO?
1. We want the institutionalization of our ancestral rules on land ownership (ancestral domain or communal land and forest in the Cordillera) by our national government. Unlike nowadays, land has become a primordial capital. Thereby watershed areas are being cleared-up and communal lands are becoming private lands.
2. We want the government leaders in the Cordillera as well as the Cordillera people in general to be conscious and aggressive in implementing the conservation of our natural resources including preservation of the natural beauty of the mountains, freshness of our springs and rivers. Every one of us who are away from our home dreams to be in the Cordillera for good one day. When that time comes, we hope to find and enjoy the natural beauty and resources of the Cordillera.
3. We want that provinces or communities must directly benefit from any income generated in the exploitation by government entities or multinational companies of the natural resources in the areas. (Example: hydroelectric produced in the Ambuklao and Binga dams. Many residents around the area do not still have electricity.)
4. Designated watershed areas be respected and rules for preservation must be strictly implemented.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE EMPOWERED TO MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE?
1. NGOs in the Cordillera working for the abovementioned dreams/visions must be encouraged, supported and strengthened.
2. Formulate and forward resolutions calling for the recognition or incorporation of indigenous legal system within the government legal system.
3. Support the campaign or call for a creation of an autonomous Cordillera region.
4. Put up or build community organizations or OFW associations with a strong humanitarian orientation bearing always in mind the good or welfare of the people.