Press Release
September 5, 2010

Successful Partnerships Between Indigenous Cultural Communities and Industries/Businesses Is Possible - Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities lauds the successful partnership between Indigenous Peoples (IPs)/Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) and Industries/Businesses.

"By working together, we can bring about the cultural, economic, social and ecological development of our Indigenous brothers and sisters."

Citing the situation of the Mansaka Tribe in the Municipality of Maco, Province of Compostela Valley, she pointed out that the Maco Ancestral Domain Council Incorporated (MDCI) works in harmony with Apex Mining Company Incorporated, where the latter has effectively turned over royalty checks to the MDCI.

"These royalty checks were turned over to the 29 affected Barangays and used in different projects such as: delineation and titling of the Ancestral Domain of the Mansaka tribe and IP census; creation of their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plans; leadership capability and skills training; IP youth skills training; educational assistance program; livelihood and agricultural assistance."

"It is admirable that they have found a way to work together in peace. There must be a harmonious balance between resource extraction and development of the local community, with the end goal of the continued protection of the environment."

Legarda also expressed her appreciation relative to the efforts of the Aurora Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), a newly created economic zone for giving their assurance that the Dumagats in the affected area of Aurora will not be evicted from their ancestral lands but shall be tapped as partners in environmental protection.

"There must be constant communication and open mindedness of all parties. Instead of an isolationist mindset, we must acknowledge that development is essential and does not necessarily bring about violence and aggression. "

Legarda concluded, "These best practices must be made known to both our IP groups as well as businesses/industries that want to set up shop in ancestral domains. It is possible to work hand-in-hand, to foster partnerships, and achieve sustainable development for the country."

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