Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bishop Juanich's Co-workers for Quilala

Here are some pictures of Bishop Juanich's Co-workers for the Quilala Project.

Bishop Juanich in Quilala Project

Here are some pictures of our Vicar Apostolic -- Most Reverend Edgardo S. Juanich, D.D. -- in action.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Progress in the AVT St. Joseph Cathedral Construction

Here are some pictures of the still to be completed St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral of the Apostolic Vicariate in Taytay.

Your financial and material assistance is, certainly, most welcome.

For your donations, the following details may help:
Account Holder: Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay
Account Number: 00874-0080-45
Address: BPI Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City

Some Scenes in the AVT Curia

These are some of the scenes you will see in the AVT Curia when you pay us a visit.

St. Joseph the Worker Multi-Purpose Cooperative

St. Joseph the Worker Multi-Purpose Cooperative has recently been launched.

Mensa Domini Sisters

Mensa Domini Sisters have been helping the AVT since its canonical erection as a vicariate.

Sr. Ruby Magno and Sr. Joyce share their lightness of being -- as in buoyancy of spirit -- in their brief catechetical mission in the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel, Linapacan, Palawan.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bishop San Diego and AVT Clergy

The joy of the AVT Bishop and Priests in the presence of a venerable father, Bishop Francisco San Diego, D.D., Bishop of Pasig.

Bishop San Diego and AVT Clergy

Always and forever a father to the AVT Clergy -- His Excellency, Francisco San Diego, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Pasig. Bishop San Diego was the first Filipino Bishop of what was then the Apostolic Vicariate of Palawan which has now "ceased to exist" and has become the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (Palawan) with His Excellency, Most Reverend Edgardo S. Juanich, D.D., as Vicar Apostolic and the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa with His Excellency, Most Reverend Pedro D. Arigo, D.D., as Vicar Apostolic.

AVT Priests Voting in 2010

Through the efforts of Her Excellency, Ambassador Tita de Villa, the AVT Clergy were among the first Filipinos to try the SMARTMATIC-TIM online voting equipment.

Fr. Robert Co-Amurao, in fact, was the first to vote. But Monsignor Jose D. Delfin, Ph.D., was the first of the AVT Clergy to have his picture taken with his paper ballot.

AVT Priests Semi-Annual Retreat June 2009

The Bishop and the Clergy of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay had their semi-annual retreat in Bahay-Pari, San Carlos Seminary Formation Complex, Guadalupe, Makati, Metro Manila from June 29 to July 2, and then their updating seminar-workshop from July 2 to 4, 2009.

Retreat Facilitator was the Most Reverend Albert Alejo of the Society of Jesus, presently domiciled in Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City. Theme of the Retreat was "The Priest and His Personal Integrity."

Updating seminar-workshop facilitator was the indefatigable Ambassador Tita de Villa who apprised the AVT Clergy of PPCRV Updates and made the AVT Clergy the first "unofficial" group to try out the Smartmatic-TIM online voting facilities.

Here are some pictures:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

PCSD Guide: Ancestral Domain

lifted from

PCSD Resolution 93-38A
Republic of the Philippines
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan


Pursuant to Republic Act No. 7611 which empowers the Palawan Council For Sustainable Development (PCSD) to govern, implement and give policy direction to the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan, and which provides for the recognition of tribal ancestral lands as a main component of the Environmentally Critical Critical Areas Network (ECAN), and consistent with the policy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on the due recognition of ancestral land and domain claims, the following guidelines are hereby promulgated to cover ancestral DENR Department Administrative Order No. 2, Series of 1993 pertaining to the identification, delineation and recognition of ancestral land and domain claims.

Section 1. Basic Policy - It is the policy of the PCSD to preserve and maintain the integrity of ancestral domains and ensure recognition of the customs and traditions of the indigenous communities of Palawan pursuant to the Constitutional mandated for the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous communities (Ics) and the SEP's provisions on tribal ancestral lands.

Moreover, the PCSD recognizes the importance of promoting indigenous ways for the sustainable management of the natural resources such as the ecologically sound traditional practices of the indigenous communities of Palawan.

Accordingly, the PCSD shall define a special kind of zonation for areas traditionally occupied by indigenous communities to fulfill the material and cultural needs of the tribes.

Section 2. Objectives - The objectives of the PCSD in the identification and delineation of ancestral land and domain claims are the following:
To protect the tenure of the indigenous communities of Palawan over ancestral lands and domains and to preserve their culture;
To pursue the Constitutional mandate for equitable access to natural resources; and
To ensure sustainable development of natural resources within the ancestral lands and domains especially the forests.


Section 1. Definition of Terms - For purposes of these guidelines, the definitions found in existing laws, administrative issuances and related studies for the following terms are hereby adopted:

Indigenous Communities (ICs) - a homogenous society who have continuously lived as community on communally bounded and defined territory, sharing common bonds of language, customs traditions and other distinctive cultural traits, and who, through resistance to the political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos

Ancestral Domain - refers to all lands and natural resources occupied or possessed by indigenous communities, by themselves or through their ancestors, communally or individually, in accordance with their customs and traditions since time immemorial continuously to the present except when interrupted by war, force meisure, or displacement by force, deceit or stealth.

Ancestral Land - refers to land occupied possessed and utilized by individuals, families or clans who are members of the indigenous communities since time immemorial by themeselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, continuously to the present except when interrupted by war, force meisure or displacement by force, deceit or stealth.

Individual Claim - refers to claims on land and rights thereon, which have been divolved to individuals, e.g. residential lots, rice terraces or paddies, tree lots.

Indigenous Corporate Claim - refers to claims on land, resources and rights thereon belonging to the whole community within a defined territory.

Communal Claim - refers to claims on lands, resources and rights thereon belonging to the whole community within a defined territory.

Customary Laws - refers to a body or rules, usages, custom and practices traditionally observe, accepts and recognized by the indigenous cultural communities.

Time Immemorial - refers to a period of time where as far back as memory can go, a certain indigenous community is known to have occupied, possessed, and operation of customary law or inherited from their ancestors in accordance with their customs and traditions.

Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands (CSTFAL) - refers to the Special Task Force based in specific Community Environment and Natural Resources identification, delineation and recognition of ancestral land claims as defined in these guidelines. The PCSD Committee on Tribal Affair and Local Government Units shall be represented in these Task.

Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domains (PSTFAD) - refers to the Special Task Force based in the office of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Officer (PENRO) of Palawan which is responsible for the identification, delineation, recognition and management of ancestral domain claims as defined in these guidelines. The PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs shall be represented in this Provincial Special Task Force.

Non-Government Organization (NGO) - refers to a private, nonprofit voluntary organization that has been organized primarily for the delivery of various services to the indigenous communities and has and establish track record for effectiveness and acceptability in the community where it is serving.

People's Organization (PO) - refers to a private, non- profit voluntary organization of members of an indigenous community which is accepted as representative of such community.

Section 1. Composition of Ancestral Lands - Unless Congress otherwise provides and subject to evidence, ancestral land shall consist of lands occupied, possessed or utilized by individuals, families or clans who are members of the indigenous communities since time immemorial by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, continuously to the present except when interupted by war, force majeure or displacement b force, deceit or stealth, including but not limited to residential lots, rice terraces or peddies, private forest, swidden farms and tree lots.

Section 2. Composition of Ancestral Domains - Unless otherwise Congress provides and subject to evidence, ancestral domains shall consist of all territories possessed, occupied or d utilized by indigenous communities, by themselves or through their ancestors or predecessors-in-interest since time immemorial in accordance with their customary laws, traditions and practices, irrespective of their present land classification and utilization, including but not limited to such lands used for residences, farms, burial ground, communal and/or private forests, pasture and hunting grounds, worship areas, individually owned land whether alineable/disposable or otherwise and other natural resources.

Section 3. Participation of Ancestral Domains - Customary laws and traditions governing property rights or relations within ancestral domains shall be respected.


Section 1. Information Dissemination - Upon effectivity of these guidelines, the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs shall coordinate with the Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domains (PSTFAD) and Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands. (CSTFAL) in Palawan formed under DENR DAO No. 2 Series of 1993, the Local Government Units (LUG's) Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), People's Organizations (Pos) and the Provincial Office of the Southern Cultural Communities (OSCC), in conducting an information campaign on the program for the identification and delineation of ancestral land and domain claims. The information campaign shall include meetings with Organization, and Local Government Officials.

Section 2. Identification of Indigenous Communities - After the initial stage of the information campaign, the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs shall coordinate with the PSTFAD, the Provincial OSCC, appropriate NGOs and Pos in identifying and preparing an official list of the indigenous communities found in identifying ancestral domain claims in the area.

Section 3. Identification of Boundaries - After the formal identification of Ics in the province, the PCSD Committee on Task Force on Ancestral Domain (PSTFAD) in conducting meetings with the respective traditional councils and/or Elders of each indigenous community within the province in order to make a preliminary identification of the natural boundaries of their respective ancestral domains, which boundaries shall be traced upon a topographic map of the province. Concerned representatives from LGUs, NGOs, POs and OSCC shall be invited to these meetings.

Section 4. Publication of Ancestral Domain Claims - The PSTFAD in Palawan shall, upon establishment of ancestral domain claims in accordance with the preceding Section, cause the publication of a list of such claims in at least to newspapers of provincial circulation and the posting of the same in at least two public places nearest the location of the claims to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within 15 days from date of such publications. Provided, that in areas where no newspaper exist, the latter shall be deemed sufficient.

Section 5. Submission of Proofs of Ancestral Domain Claims - Fifteen (15) days after such publication, the indigenous community concerned shall submit documentary proofs supportive of its claim over the identified territory. The PSTFAD shall acknowledge receipt thereof and shall compare the same with photocopies of such documents and if found to be faithful reproduction thereof, shall authenticate and accept them and return the originals to the claimants. Proof of such claim shall include the testimony of elders or community under oath and other documents directly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by such indigenous community in the concept of owners, which shall be any of the following:
Written accounts of the indigenous community's customs and traditions;
Written accounts of the indigenous community's political structure and institutions.
Pictures showing long term occupation such as those of old improvements, burial grounds, sacred places and old villages;
Historical accounts;
Survey plans and sketch maps;
Anthropological data;
Genealogical surveys;
Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional communal forest and hunting ground:
Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional landmarks such as mountains, rivers creeks, ridges, hills, terraces and the like;
Write-ups of names and place derived from the native dialect of the community.

Section 6. Ocular Inspection and Verification - Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the documentary proofs of ancestral domain claim, the PSTFAD concerned shall conduct an ocular inspection of the territory claimed in order to establish the veracity of the proofs and shall prepare a report of its findings.

Section 7. Resolution of Claims - Within fifteen (15) days after the completion of the inspection and verification process, the PSTFAD shall favorably act upon any claim that is deemed to be sufficiently proved. However, when proof submitted is deemed insufficient, the PSTFAD shall require the submission of additional evidence.

The PSTFAD shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification. Provided, that in case of rejection, the PSTFAD shall give the applicant notice thereof, copy furnished all concerned, containing the grounds thereof.

In cases where there are conflicting claims among indigenous communities on the boundaries of ancestral on the boundaries of ancestral domain claims, the PSTFAD shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict in order to pave the way for the survey, without prejudice to the full and jurisdiction of the conflict in accordance with customary laws of the concerning parties.

Section 8. Preparation of Provincial Survey Plans> - Within fifteen (15) days from completion of the resolution of ancestral domain claims, the PSTFAD shall prepare a consolidated perimeter survey plan of claims within the entire province. The perimeter survey shall be conducted through the use of aerial survey and mapping technology using the Global Positioning System (GPS), or in case this is not possible, by traditional ground survey method.

Representatives of indigenous community claimants shall participate in the survey process by being on hand to identify specific landmarks indicating the exact boundaries of their ancestral domain claims.

Section 9. Transmittal of Documents and Record of Surveys - Within fifteen (15) days from the resolution of all ancestral domain claims in the province, the PSTFAD shall make a report of the same and shall submit copies of the resolutions and the provincial survey plan to the Office of the DENR Regional Executive Director for Region IV and the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs for evaluation and approval.

All such surveys will be marked in the control map of the PCSD staff and the DENR Region IV Office.

Section 10. Certification of Ancestral Domain Claim - Upon recommendation of the DENR Regional Executive Director and the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs, a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) declaring and certifying the claims of each indigenous cultural community over a corresponding territory earlier identified and delineated as ancestral domain shall be issued in the name of the indigenous community claimant and placed under the custody of its recognized indigenous socio-political leadership or people's organization, copy furnished a CENRO under which jurisdiction the domain concerned is located.

The issuance of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim will not prejudice all rights vested in the indigenous community by a Presidential or Legislative Proclamation of a civil or political reserve or by existing laws, rules and regulations.

Section 11. Contracts Leases and Permits within Ancestral Domains - Contracts entered into as well as licenses and permits issued by the DENR and the LGUs for the exploitation and utilization of natural resources inside ancestral domains shall remain in forces and effect until the term of the agreement shall have expired unless earlier revoked or cancelled for non-compliance or violation of any of its and conditions. Thereafter, except for those issued to members of the indigenous communities, such contracts shall be renewed only upon written consent of the IC concerned.

Section 12. Implementation of Government Programs Within the Ancestral Domain - All programs under the control of the PCSD and other government agencies shall not be implemented within any ancestral domain without the written consent of the indigenous cultural community concerned signed its behalf by a majority of its recognized leaders. Should the community give its consent, it shall be given ample participation in the planning implementation and maintenance of the program.

Section 13. Safeguards Against Enroachment - The ancestral domain over which an indigenous cultural community claim has been certified shall be places under the exclusive management of such community. Accordingly, no person who is not a bona fide resident of the area or who does not belong to the claimant community shall be given any permit, license or other legal instruments to enter the area for the purpose of exploiting the resource therein, without the collective consent in writing of the community expressed through public hearings and consultations with them.


Section 1. Allocation of Lands Within Ancestral Domain Claims - The allocation of lands within any ancestral domain claim to individual or indigenous community concerned to decide in accordance with its customs and traditions.

Section 2. Identification Ancestral Land Claims - Individual and indigenous corporate claimants of ancestral land which are not within recognized ancestral domains, may have their claims officially established by filing applications for the identifications and delineation of their claims with the Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands where the land is located.
An individual or recognized head of a family or clan, may file such application his behalf of his family or clan, respectively.

Section 3. Proofs of Ancestral Land Claims - The Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Land shall accept applications of ancestral lands claims; provided, that proofs of such claims shall accompany the applications form which shall include the testimony under oath of elders or community and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by the individual or indigenous corporate claimants in the concept of owners, which shall be any of the following:

Write-ups on customs and traditions;
Pictures of old improvements such ax trees, stone walling e rice fields, orchards, farms, monuments, houses and other old structures;
Pictures of burial grounds;
Genealogical surveys;
Historical accounts;
Ancient documents;
Survey plan and/or sketch maps;
Tax declarations and proofs of payments of taxes

Section 4. Submission of Additional Proofs The Community Special Task Force concerned may require form each ancestral land claimant, the submission of such other documents , sworn statements and the like, which in its opinion, may shed light on the veracity of the contains of the application/claim.

Section 5. Presentation of Original Documents - In the filing of applications, an ancestral land claimant shall present the original documents in support of his applications. The Community Special Task Force concerned shall properly acknowledge receipt thereof and shall compare the same with photocopies of such documents and if found to be faithful reproductions, shall authenticate them; thereafter, the authenticated copies shall be accepted and the originals will be returned to the claimant.

Section 6. Applications Under Oath - All applications and statements made in connection with the ancestral land claims shall be under oath. The applications shall state therein that any false statement made may result in criminal liability.

Section 7. Publication of Ancestral Land Claims - Upon receipt of applications for delineation and recognition of ancestral land claims, the CSRFAL shall cause the publication of circulation and posting of the same in at least two public places nearest the location of the claims in order to allow other claimants to file their opposition thereto within 15 days from the latter shall be deemed sufficient.

Section 8. Resolution of Claims and Percellary Surveys - Fifteen (15) days after such publication, the CSFTAL shall investigate and inspect each application, and if found to be meritorious, shall issue a resolution to that effect and accordingly cause the parcellary survey of the area being claimed. However, to facilitate survey of the area being claimed. However, to facilitate survey work, the claimant may opt to hire at his own expense a private surveyor who should be dully accredited by the CSTFAL. I such cases, the CSTFAL concerned shall monitor the survey being conducted by the private surveyor.

In case of conflicting claims among individual or indigenous corporate claims, the CSTFAL shall cause the settlement of the conflict in accordance with Section 3. Chapter IX hereof.
When the proof submitted is deemed insufficient, the CSTFAL shall require the submission of additional evidence.

The CSTFAL shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification, but it shall give the applicant notice thereof, copy furnished all concerned, containing the grounds thereof.

Section 9. Issuance of Certificates of Ancestral Land Claims - The Community Special Task Force on Ancestral Lands shall prepare and submit to the Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domains a report on each and every applications surveyed and delineated. Thereafter, the PSTFAD, after evaluating the reports hall endorse valid ancestral land claims to the Office of the DENR Regional Executive Director and the PCSD Committee on PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs find such claims meritorious, they shall endorse the same to the DENR Secretary, through the DENR Special Concerns Office, for the issuance of Certificates of each individual or corporate (family or clan) claimant over ancestral lands.

Section 1. Management by Indigenous Community Claimants - In order to give the indigenous communities the opportunity to implement ecologically sound indigenous land use and general supervision and control over the management of their respective ancestral domain claims including the resources therein.

Section 2. Availment of Indigenous Socio-Political Structures - Unless otherwise specified by the indigenous system such as, but not limited to, Council of Elders or bodies of similar nature existing in the community shall be recognized as the decision-making and managing body within the domain.

Section 3. Preparation of Ancestral Doamins Management Plans - Within sixty (60) days from receipt of its Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim, the indigenous community concerned with assistance form the PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs, Provincial Special Task Force on Ancestral Domains, Provincial Office of the Southern Cultural Communities, and other government agencies, Local Government Units and Non-Government Institutions shall prepare a comprehensive Management Plan for the domain, considering indigenous land use and tenurial systems as well as customary laws, beliefs and traditional practices of the community.

The Management Plan shall among others, take into consideration the following issues;

indigenous community participation in the protection conservation, development and exploitation of natural resources in the area;
protection and maintenance of the indigenous community rights over livelihood sources;
provision of supplemental source of livelihood;
encroachment of the domain by outsiders;
treatment an participation of non-ICC members inside the ancestral balance therein;
prevention of degradation of the domain and maintenance of ecological balance therein;
resolution of overlapping claims and boundary conflicts;
maintenance of the community's indigenous socio-cultural and spiritual integrity;
rehabilitation of denuded forest areas;
provision of needed technical and financial assistance
inter-agency participation;
census of IC population inside the ancestral domain.

Section 4. Implementation of Management Plan - The ancestral Domains Management Plan shall be implemented by the indigenous community claimants themselves with the assistance of the PSTFAD, the PCSD, locally-based NGOs or other agencies chosen by the indigenous community. In case of cooperative efforts, the parties shall endeavor to enter, together with the indigenous community concerned, into a memorandum of agreement specifying the type of assistance each party undertakes to contribute and memorandum of agreement shall form part of the Management or Development Plan.


Section 1. Rights and Responsibilities of Ancestral Domain Claimants

A. Rights
The rights to benefit and to share the profits from the allocation and utilization of natural resources within the domain;
The right to regulate in coordination with the Local Government Units concerned, the entry of migrant settlers, non-government organizations and other similar entities into the domain;
The right to negotiate the terms and conditions for the exploitation of natural resources in the area for the purpose of ensuring the observance of ecological, environmental protection and customary laws, rules and regulations;
The right to actively and collectively participate in the formulations and implementation of government projects within the domain;
The right to lay claim on adjacent areas which may, after a more careful and through investigation, be proven to be fact part of the ancestral domain;
The right to access and availment of technical, financial and other form of assistance provided for the PCSD, LGUs, DENR and other government agencies;
The right to claim ownership of all improvements made b them at any time within the ancestral domain.

B. - The community claimants shall have the responsibility to:
Prepare a Management Plan for the domain in consonance with the provisions of Chapter VI hereof;
Establish and activate indigenous practices or culturally-founded strategies to protect, conserve and develop the natural resources and wildlife sanctuaries in the domain;
Restore, preserve and maintain a balanced ecology in the ancestral domain by protecting flora, fauna, watershed area, and other forest and mineral reserves;
Protect and conserve forest trees and other vegetation naturally growing on the land especially along rivers, stream and channels;
Preservation of natural features of the domain.

Section 2. Rights and Responsibilities of Ancestral Land Claimants

A. Rights
The right to peacefully occupy and cultivate the land, and utilize the natural resources therein, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations applicable thereto;
The right of the heirs to succeed to the claims subject o existing rules and regulations;
The right to exclude from the claim any other person who does no belong to the family or clan;
The right to utilize trees and other forest products inside the ancestral land subject to these rules as well as customary laws;

B. Responsibilities
The responsibility to manage and work on the land in accordance with indigenous and other appropriate land uses, methods and practices;
Effect the parcellary survey of the area being claimed;
Protect and conserve the forest growth within the area and cooperate in the protection and conservation of the forest areas adjacent thereto;
Preserve monuments and other landmarks indicating corners and outline of boundaries within the area;
Prevent and suppress destructive fires within and in the vicinity of the ancestral claim;
Refrain from cutting or harvesting naturally growing trees along rivers, stream and channels.

Section 1. Major Responsibilities Areas - The PCSD Committee on Tribal Affairs shall coordinate with the Provincial and implementation of the project, with the technical assistance of the PCSD Staff and Local Government Units and provincial government agencies.

Section 2. Level of Priority - This shall be accorded priority status as part of the Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) strategy.

Section 3. Sources of Funds - The implementation of the project shall be funded from available sources within the PCSD and from other agencies or entities, public or private, who may be willing contribute to this endeavor.


Section 1. Distinct and Special Treatment of Ancestral Lands and Domains - Ancestral domain and land claims shall be created as a special kind of zone under the Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) strategy of the SEP. Once an area is identified and delineated as ancestral land or coastal/marine zone, or if previously identified as part of existing territorial or coastal/marine zones, the same shall cease to be part of these zones.

Section 2. National Interest - Ancestral domain and land claims or portions thereof, which are found to be necessary for critical watershed, particularly for domestic water use, wildlife sanctuaries, wilderness, forest cover, or reforestation, as determined by appropriate government agencies with the full participation of the indigenous communities concerned shall be maintained, managed, protected form encroachment and developed for such purposed. The Ics within recognized ancestral domain and land claims shall be given the responsibility to maintain, develop, protect and conserve said areas within the assistance of concerned government agencies.

Should the Ics decide to transfer the responsibility over these areas, said decision must be in writing to be signed by a majority of their acknowledged leaders. The consent of the Ics should be arrived at in accordance with its customary laws. On free and informed consent. The transfer shall be temporary and will ultimately revert to the Ics in accordance with the program for technology transfer; provided further, that no IC shall be displaced or relocated for the purposes enumerated under this section without their consent.

The claimants whose claims or portions thereof fall within the above-mentioned environmentally critical areas shall under no circumstance be allowed to expand beyond what they actually occupy.

Section 3. Resolution of Conflicts - Conflicts arising form ancestral land claims shall be resolved in accordance with the customary laws of the contending parties. In default of such customary laws, the CSTGAL shall endorse the case to the Barangay Luzon concerned for amicable settlement. If this is not possible, the CSTFAL shall receive evidence from both sides of the conflict, prepare a report thereof including its recommendations and refer the same in the PSTFAD for adjudication.

Conflicts arising from Ancestral Domain Claims shall likewise be resolved in accordance with customary laws of contending parties. In default of such customary laws, the Special Provincial Task Force shall receive evidence, prepare a report thereof including its recommendations and likewise refer the same to the appropriate DENR units.

Section 4. Allienation of Claims - Domain or land claims shall not be alienated transferred or incumbered except to legal heirs and other members of the indigenous community concerned in accordance with their customs and traditions.

Section 5. Effectivity - These Guidelines shall take effect immediately.

APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 26th day November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-three in the City of Quezon, Philippines.

Certified True and Correct:
Executive Director and Secretary,PCSD

Chairman PCSD

Fuerte de Santa Isabel • Taytay, Palawan

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The beginning of this fortification is attributed to “El padre capitan” Fray Agustin de San Pedro, OAR who is reported to have built a fort in 1626; this was three years after the Recollects had established a mission in the area. However, the friar’s fortification was apparently a palisade. If there were a more permanent structure built is uncertain, but whatever be the case by the first quarter of the 18th century Fray Agustin’s fort was in bad state and had been abandoned. Because of Taytay’s close proximity to Borneo and in the track of merchant ships under other Europeans and the vessels of the seafaring pirates Gov. Gen. Fernando Manuel de Bustillo was prompted to rebuild the fort. He appointed Fernando Vélez de Arce as the castle chief because of his expertise in building fortifications learned at the public academy of Barcelona.

The successor of Bustillo in 1725, the Marques de Torrecampo reported that Taytay was fortified by a palisade and moved that stone structure be built in response to the request of the alcalde mayor of Calamianes who had called together a council of war. In October 1726, work had progressed such that the wall facing the town was completed. The castle master Juan Antonio de la Torre opined that it was necessary to demolish the redoubt called “la retirada” and suggested that a small structure or garita be built at the shore as a guide and protection for ships.

Five years later, the new alcalde mayor Benito Llanes y Cienfuegos reported that the fortification was on a rock but was indefensible as it was of poor quality material. Furthermore, he suggested that the fortification be built elsewhere rather than waste resources on repairs. He also suggested rebuilding the demolished redoubt “la reitrada.” In response, the central government sent the engineer Tomás de Castro to survey the area and submit his recommendations. De Castro replied that building a new fort of a much better and more adequate design was the preferred option. However, he was instructed that before such an undertaking to do some repairs on the fort (DT 1959:375-78).

This was apparently done, because in the fort’s plan as it appears in the 1738 Valdes Tamon report, parts are already indicated as being made of stone, some parts were still made of timber and others were planned. It seems that de Castro’s recommendation to build a completely new structure was not followed or rather that he was ordered to continue the reconstruction because a memorial stone on the inner side of the curtain wall indicates that de Castro was responsible for rebuilding the Taytay fort.

Described as a fuerza, Santa Isabel is built over a rock beside the sea. Planned as an irregular quadrilateral, whose perimeter followed the contour of the rock on which it is built, the fort has a seaward side curtain wall is arched rather than straight. Bastions are found at each corner of the irregular plan. Garitas are strategically located. A ruined chapel is in the center of the plan. Some below ground structures are visible but whose functions are uncertain. They may be the structures described in the 1738 report as storehouses. Despite being well-built the structure was vulnerable from attack, mounted on a nearby hill which opened to an unobstructed view of the fort.

Landor (1904: 111-112) describes Taytay and identifies the bellow ground structures as “dungeons,” he may be mistaken. Landor writes:

“The fort, which could accommodate six or seven hundred soldiers, was constructed on a high rock projecting into the sea and connected with the land by an artificial causeway. There was a passage with steps, and an incline by which the summit of the church could be reached some thirty-five or forty feet above the sea-level. By the side of this incline were two dungeons, now roofless. In former times these dungeons had only one small aperture to give light and air to both chambers. On the opposite (east) side of the entrance-gate was a large cistern with a fountain at the lower portion.The fort was one of the finest on Palawan Island, and had four bastions, those overlooking the sea to the north being semicircular, whereas the other two were angular. For its day it possessed some powerful iron artillery, such as one long five-inch piece dated 1812, and two four-inch (1823) cannon. A great number of one-pound bullets were used as mitraille in the big guns; possibly smaller guns were (page 112) in those times mounted upon the wall; or maybe it was ammunition fired at the fort by the Moro lantacas (brass cannon) in some attacks.The inside of the fort was at a slope, the north part being filled up to within five feet of the top of the wall. The two east turrets were reached by an incline, and a path was built all around the top of the castellated wall. The actual stone outer wall was no more than thirty inches wide, but it was filled with earth and thus made of great strength. The only building inside, which was formerly a chapel with two bamboo annexes, is now used as barracks for the constabulary force of seventeen men. The fort measures some forty paces square, and its walls was about forty-two feet high and vertical, except corner bastions at a slant, with a cornichon twenty feet above the ground all round.”

Fuerza de Principe Alfonso • Malabang, Palawan

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Although plans to build a fort were underway from the 18th century, nothing came of it until the establishment of a military outpost on the island in 1857. It was formerly called “Principe de Asturias” but renamed “Principe Alfonso” in 1878. The fort is described as polygonal with a tower in the middle and facing the sea. The construction of the fort by the military began after the outpost was established.

The southern tip of Palawan (Paragua) and the outlying islands, did not figure much in the strategies of Spain until the 19th century when the British had established a trading post in the nearby island of Balambagan. Through this trading post the British controlled commerce in the “Sulu Zone.” The military began fortifying Palawan by establishing military and naval detachments throughout the island and its adjacent islands and islets.

Cagayancillo Fort • Cagayancillo, Palawan

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The construction of this fort took a long time. In the1580s it is reported that Nicolas Melo, OSA built a fortification described as baluarte-castillo de defensa.

Work continued under his successor Fray Alonso Calosa, parish priest from 1590-1602. Unable to provide manpower, Cagayancillo was placed under the secular clergy from 1602 to 1626. It was returned to the Augustinians who administered the place by annexing it as a visita first to Antique, Bugason, Dao and finally Ani-niy in Panay Island. As visita, this meant that Cagayancillo did not have a resident priest; rather a priest from the mother parish would visit it on a regular basis. What a trip it was! It took all of four days to reach Cagayancillo from Ani-niy on board a sailing vessel like the paraw or the batel, a cargo ship that once linked Palawan with the Visayas.

Under Fray Hipolito Casiano (parish priest 1690 – 1714) the fort was completed. Fr. Pedro Galende, OSA says that the fort’s construction “took almost 130 years.” Galende writes: “When completed, the diamond shaped fort, with ten firing mouths crowning its walls, occupied an area of 162 square meters, with its 3 meter thick walls rising 12 meters from their base.” Then, he adds,” At the time of its completion, Cagayancillo had barely 180 inhabitants on record.”

Why did it take almost 130 years to finish the fort? First answer: the island was not under the Augustinians for a long unbroken time during the 17th century. When it reverted to them, it took more than fifty years to finally have a resident priest, apparently Fray Casiano. A friar’s continuous physical presence was needed if an ambitious building project was to prosper. Second answer: morphologically, Cagayancillo’s present fort is a bastioned fort type, which does not fit Galende’s description of baluarte-castillo. Baluarte refers a detached, free-standing tower but Cagayancillo’s fort is also called castillo, which may mean either that it was of larger proportion that the usual, or may have had an additional wall to it, much like the San Diego de Alcala fortification at Gumaca, Quezon. Or probably, there was more than one fort; Fray Melo’s 16th-century structure being rudimentary tower, whose stones were then incorporated into the present fort. Third reason: there were very few people in Cagayancillo, if the population was placed as 180 in the early 18th century, that means there was little manpower to work on the fort, as it was customary for males alone to work on public construction, women and children were exempt. That cut available manpower by at least half.

But then again the slaving raids may have reduced population. But which raids? There were many eras in the history of slave-raiding in the Philippines. There were the 16th century raids, provoked in part by Spanish attempt to cut off the influence of Brunei on trade in the Sulu-Borneo area. There were the 17th century raids during the ascendancy of the Cotabato sultanates and the raids of the second half of the 18th century, catalyzed by the rise of the Sulu Sultanate and the expansion of British trading interest in the Sulu zone. Cagayancillo’s fortification falls neatly into the first two periods of slave-raiding.

Cuilon Fort • Culion, Palawan

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In the 1750s, Delgado describes the fort at Culion as “fortaleza.” Although the Culion fort is attributed to Fray Severo the 17th century fortification may have been a palisade because the 1738 Valdes Tamon report says that Culion’s fort was in the process of completion. This quadrilateral fort enclosed a small chapel, whose facade served as the entrance to the fort. Built on promontory overlooking the sea, the fort made of coral stone was still standing up to 1936, when it was partially demolished to make way for a larger church. The present church of Culion, built on the site of the fort uses stones from the fort as foundation and lower storey. The original facade of the fort, bearing the arms of Spain has been incorporated into the entrance of the church. Behind the church a circular bastion and part of the wall remains. Canons are mounted on the bastion.

Landor (1904: 74-76) describes Culion, but did not think too highly of the aesthetics of the church or chapel inside the fort: “Let us go to Culion town on the northeast coast of the same island, in a sheltered inlet of what is called Coron Bay. The anchorage is small and rather narrow, in fourteen fathoms of water, in front of the picturesque Spanish fort occupying a prominent rock that protrudes into a spur on the east side at the entrance of the harbor. The town itself consists of a number of buildings stuck against the hillside and astride of it; the doors of one tier of houses being on a level with the roofs of the houses below. An ugly, corrugated roof, rising from within the centre of the fort, within the walls of which it is enclosed, covers the white painted building.

From the fort—a quadrangle of forty paces square, with a stone wall thirty-two inches thick and some twenty-five feet height—one gets a fine view of the town with its three parallel streets upon the hill-side. Six handsome modern church-bells and some bronze cannon on one bastion seem a strange contrast of peace and war as all these forts do. Nearly half the fort is occupied by a spacious church, the lower part of stone, the upper of wood, the door ornamented with graceful fluted columns and most elaborately artistic capitols. The inside is, as usual, plastered white, and has no peculiarity except a wheel with several bells to announce the beginning of mass.…
The fort was approached by an imposing flight of semi-circular steps, at the bottom of which stood a big wooden cross.”

Cuyo Fort • Cuyo, Palawan

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Cuyo was strategically located between the islands of Panay and the Palawan main land. The island served as a stepping stone that linked Palawan with the Visayas and Luzon. Cuyo’s strategic position within a transportation and trade route made it imperative that it be fortified.

Built in 1683, the fortified church of San Agustin is attributed to Juan de Severo, OAR. The NHI historical marker at Cuyo gives as construction date as “about 1680.” The next major renovation to the fortification was in 1827 when a belltower was built on top of one of the fort’s bastions.
Cuyo’s main municipal defense the complex housed both the church and convento. Cuyo fort provided a safe haven not just for the ecclesiastical but also for civil authority as Cuyo served as the first capital of the district known as Paragua (Palawan). Cuyo also function a convenient waypoint between the Visayan islands and the Palawan mainland. Hence, the town’s importance.

The Cuyo fort has been described variously quadrilateral with bastions at the corner (Delgado), a stone church with stone fort and baluarte, a fortaleza. In fact, the fort is an irregular pentagon with the church forming one side and the convento originally located parallel to the church (but now at the rear and running perpendicular to the church) another. Curtain walls connect these two structures. However, the front curtain wall does not describe a straight line but is comes to an apex, where there is secondary entrance to the fort. This entrance does not lead directly into the fort but into a blind enclosure, apparently a type of blind opening to catch invaders off guard.

Bastions are found at four corners of the pentagon. The landward bastion and at the gospel side of the church forms the base of a bell tower built in 1827. The remaining three bastions have garitas. The fort’s main entrance is through the church door, placed slightly off center of the nave’s centerline.

Old photographs show that the convento was built parallel to the nave, however that is not the present position of the convento. Records have it that the convento was renovated in 1922. Most likely this was a new construction. The 1922 convento was repaired and renovated in 1995. At Lucbuan there is another quadrilateral fortification. Details about its construction are unknown, it might be a 19th century structure. The fort is greatly degraded and its walls are much reduced in height.

Linapacan Fortification • Barangay San Miguel, Linapacan, Palawan

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This is one of two fortifications recently discovered by Cheyenne Morrison on the island of Linapacan. There are two structures, a lower and an higher fortification or bastion built unto the limestone hill beside the town of San Miguel, the principal town of Linapacan. The structure is overgrown by vegetation and straggler figs. Further study is needed to determine if this or the other fort at Caseladan is the one that is described in the 1738 Valdes Tamon report, where the fortification is drawn as a cluster of buildings surrounded by a perimeter wall that hugs the crest of a hill.

If this the structures at San Miguel are the ones cited by Valdes Tamon, then this gives an indication when the fortification was constructed, otherwise there is very little data on its history.

Landor (1904: 100-101) adds to our conundrum when he describes Linapacan because it does not correspond to any of the ruins discovered recently

“A mile or so farther we arrived at the town—about half a dozen huts among cocoa-nuts palms, scattered on the side of the hill, upon which an ancient Spanish stone fort overlooked the western bay.It was pentagonal in shape, with two angular bastions and three semicircular ones, with an inner area of 600 square feet containing a humble nipa church in a dilapidated condition, a shelter with three bronze bells, a rickety iron cannon on wheels—and some iron bullets for ammunition. There was all there was to the fort. The only noticeable portion of this of this structure was a vaulted door with a Spanish coat-of-arms elaborately and most artistically carved in stone, with graceful leaf ornamentations all around it. Seen from the outside, the wall of the fort looked much stronger than it really was, but where crumbling down from age—especially on its south and east sides—its flimsiness was apparent.” (Compare this description with the details on the other fortification discovered at Barangay Caseladan, Linapacan)

Linapacan Fortification II • Barangay Caseladan, Linapacan, Palawan

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Part of defense system built in Palawan by the Recollects from the 1620s to 1738, the mysterious ruins of a bastioned fort were recently discovered (November 2004) on Linapacan Island at Barangay Caseladan, said to be the original site of the town of San Miguel. Another set of ruins were found near San Miguel. It is uncertain if this or the fortification at San Miguel is the one referred to by the 1738/39 Report of Valdes Tamon as “muralla de piedra de figura irregular” or the one described in 1754 by Delgado a fortaleza. There are marked discrepancies between the Valdes Tamon description and the actual remains at Caseladan. The Valdes Tamon report shows a natural fortification strengthened by walls and other built structures. The Caseladan fortification may have been built after the Valdes Tamon report or may been a remodelling of the fortification reported in 1738.

The history of San Miguel, the principal settlement of Linapacan is unclear. Did it transfer sites more than once? If it did then Caseladan maybe one of many sites for San Miguel.

Dumaran Fort • Dumaran, Palawan

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Warren lists a wooden baluarte or watchtower at Dumaran based on late 18th century reports by the diocese of Cebu on the defenses of the Visayas, which was under its ecclesiastical jurisdiction. If the fortification at Dumaran were made of stone and mortar conceivably the report would list it down as such. This might indicate that the ruined fort at Dumaran was built during the last decade of the 18th century or the early 19th.

The walls that remain at Dumaran consist of a bastion and short stretch of curtain wall, breached off center with an entrance. It is uncertain if the fortification was ever finished or that it had been ruined over time. Oral tradition claims that the fort was never finished and inspection of the evidence seem to corroborate the tradition.

The bastion is of an unusual shape consisting of a rounded projection at the center flanked by two short wall walls. The bastion does not conform to any typical shape. It is quite probable that the rounded projection is an older construction, possibly a circular tower of stone and mortar, which was then remodeled as a bastion.

Fort Labog • Barangay Labog, Sofronio Española, Palawan

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The historical marker for Fort Labo(g) reads: “Fort Labo. Site of Fort Labo built by the Recollect Augustinians to protect the town against pirates. The plans were prepared by Rev. Atilano de San Jose, A.R.. The fort, constructed with the permission of Governor Bobadilla, was demolished in 1720 by order of Governor Cuesta. Site: Labo, Palawan; Date installed: 1939; installed by Historical Research and Markers Committee” (NHI, p. 148).

It is not clear why the fort was demolished. Perhaps, the townsite was moved.

Cuarteles • Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

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The details of construction are sketchy but it appears that the fortification was built in a short space of time; there is no evidence of additions during the Spanish colonial period. Built in the 19th century by the Spanish military it had military barracks, probably of wood, and a prison. It was built to defend Palawan’s capital Puerto Princesa, after the capital was transfered from Taytay.

Palawan was one of frontiers, which Spain sought to bring under Spanish rule. Also known as Paragua, the main island of Palawan was sparsely populated by indigenous tribes like the Tagbanua and the Tao’t Bato, in contrast to the northern island groups of Cuyo and Busuanga, which was populated by migrants from the neighboring islands of Luzon and the Visayas. Many were fisherfolk lured by the abundant fishing grounds of northern Palawan.

An early 20th century postcard depicts a fortification built right in front of the Puerto Princesa church. The fortification consists of a pair of two-story quadrilateral towers projecting in front of a perimeter wall. At the towers’ lower registers are entrances leading into the perimeter’s interior. The perimeter wall, pierced by loopholes is not much taller than a standing person. The interior is almost completely occupied by a hip-roofed structure. The roof is made of metal sheets. The structure is morphologically closer to a blockhouse rather than a bastioned fort.

The postcard photograph suggests that this might be a fortified structure other than cuarteles because it is situated at the side rather than in front of the Puerto Princesa church. There is the possibility, though that the orientation of the church was changed over time. But then structural and design details, shown in the photograph, indicate an entirely different structure. The towers, for instance, are simple boxes supported by crisscross timbers. They have none of the articulation of the existing towers of cuarteles. There are no remnants of this second structure.

Agutaya Fort: Fuerza de San Juan Bautista de La Lutaya

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In 1622, Palawan (Paragua) and the neighboring northern islands collectively known as Calamianes were entrusted to the spiritual care of the Augustinian Recollects by the Bishop of Cebu, Pedro de Arce OAR. Friars Francisco de San Nicolas, Diego de Santa Ana, Juan de Santo Tomas and lay brother Francisco de la Madre de Dios were assigned to this mission area. By 1623, the friars had crossed to the Palawan mainland but failed to succeed in conversion because of the strong influence of Muslim communities. Quite a contrast to the easy acceptance of Catholicism by the people of Cuyo and neighboring Agutaya. These fledgling Christian outstations were subject to attack by slave raider: 1632 Cuyo; 1636 Cuyo and Calamines; and in 1646 the raiders planned a concerted and massive attack on this frontier. In 1638, while serving as parish priest of Cuyo, Juan de Severo, OAR conceived of the idea to fortify the churches of Cuyo, Agutaya and Culion. While the friars built churches and residences and were advancing in their work, continued slave-raiding and lack of resources forced them to abandon Palawan briefly, except for Cuyo and Agutaya. This retrenchment set back the growth of the missions. In 1659, they returned determined to stay and so begun the construction of more durable defensive fortifications at Cuyo, Agutaya, and Culion, and also at Linapacan, Taytay and Dumaran, Malampaya, Calatan and Paragua (Puerto Princesa). In 1692, the mission at Agutaya was raised to the status of parish under the advocacy of San Juan Bautista. This is the same name given to the fort at Agutaya.

The fort built in 1683 was remodelled in the 18th century. It is not certain if the 17th-century fortification was a palisade or a stone fort. The plan for Agutaya appears in the Valdes Tamon report of 1738. Whether the fortification was built immediately is uncertain. A date given for the completion of the fort is 1784 and is attributed to the encomendero Antonio de Rojas who delineated the plan of the fort. Apparently, the earlier fort of Fray Juan was greatly modified.

Landor (1904: 65) describes Agutaya “a fort with four battlements was the principal structure, and inside its quadrangle was to be found a simple and modest church, the windows of which were cut into the east wall of the fort. This house of God possessed a choir-balcony and the usual cheap images of the altar. On the northeast battlements, which was crumbling away were the remains of a high tower.”

The degradation of the Agutaya fort continues to this day.