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Ipra and Cases

Ipra and Cases

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Republic Act No.

8371 October 29, 1997 AN ACT TO RECOGNIZE, PROTECT AND PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMUNITIES/INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, CREATING A NATIONAL COMMISSION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, ESTABLISHING IMPLEMENTING MECHANISMS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: : CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS Section 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as "The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997." Section 2. Declaration of State Policies. - The State shall recognize and promote all the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) hereunder enumerated within the framework of the Constitution: a) The State shall recognize and promote the rights of ICCs/IPs within the framework of national unity and development; b)The State shall protect the rights of ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains to ensure their economic, social and cultural well being and shall recognize the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain; c) The State shall recognize, respect and protect the rights of ICCs/IPs to preserve and develop their cultures, traditions and institutions. It shall consider these rights in the formulation of national laws and policies; d) The State shall guarantee that members of the ICCs/IPs regardless of sex, shall equally enjoy the full measure of human rights and freedoms without distinctions or discriminations; e) The State shall take measures, with the participation of the ICCs/IPs concerned, to protect their rights and guarantee respect for their cultural integrity, and to ensure that members of the ICCs/IPs benefit on an equal footing from the rights and opportunities which national laws and regulations grant to other members of the population and f) The State recognizes its obligations to respond to the strong expression of the ICCs/IPs for cultural integrity by assuring maximum ICC/IP participation in the direction of education, health, as well as other services of ICCs/IPs, in order to render such services more responsive to the needs and desires of these communities. Towards these ends, the State shall institute and establish the necessary mechanisms to enforce and guarantee the realization of these rights, taking into consideration their customs, traditions, values, beliefs, their rights to their ancestral domains. CHAPTER II DEFINITION OF TERMS Section 3. Definition of Terms. - For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall mean: a) Ancestral Domains - Subject to Section 56 hereof, refer to all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs comprising lands,inland waters, coastal areas, and natural resources therein, held under a claim of ownership, occupied or possessed by ICCs/IPs, themselves or through their ancestors, communally or individually since time immemorial, continuously to the present except when interrupted by war, force majeure or displacement by force, deceit, stealth or as a consequence of government projects or any other voluntary dealings entered into by government and private individuals, corporations, and which are necessary to ensure their economic, social and cultural welfare. It shall include ancestral land, forests, pasture, residential, agricultural, and other lands individually owned whether alienable and disposable or otherwise, hunting grounds, burial grounds, worship areas, bodies of water, mineral and other natural resources, and lands which may no longer be exclusively occupied by ICCs/IPs but from which their traditionally had access to for their subsistence and traditional activities, particularly the home ranges of ICCs/IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting cultivators; b) Ancestral Lands - Subject to Section 56 hereof, refers to land occupied, possessed and utilized by individuals, families and clans who are members of the ICCs/IPs since time immemorial, by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, under claims of individual

or traditional group ownership,continuously, to the present except when interrupted by war, force majeure or displacement by force, deceit, stealth, or as a consequence of government projects and other voluntary dealings entered into by government and private individuals/corporations, including, but not limited to, residential lots, rice terraces or paddies, private forests, swidden farms and tree lots; c) Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title - refers to a title formally recognizing the rights of possession and ownership of ICCs/IPs over their ancestral domains identified and delineated in accordance with this law; d) Certificate of Ancestral Lands Title - refers to a title formally recognizing the rights of ICCs/IPs over their ancestral lands; e) Communal Claims - refer to claims on land, resources and rights thereon, belonging to the whole community within a defined territory f) Customary Laws - refer to a body of written and/or unwritten rules, usages, customs and practices traditionally and continually recognized, accepted and observed by respective ICCs/IPs; g) Free and Prior Informed Consent - as used in this Act shall mean the consensus of all members of the ICCs/IPs to; be determined in accordance with their respective customary laws and practices, free from any external manipulation, interference and coercion, and obtained after fully disclosing the intent and scope of the activity, in a language an process understandable to the community; h) Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples - refer to a group of people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by other, who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory, and who have, under claims of ownership since time immemorial, occupied, possessed customs, tradition and other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance to political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, non-indigenous religions and culture, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos. ICCs/IPs shall likewise include peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, at the time of conquest or colonization, or at the time of inroads of non-indigenous religions and cultures, or the establishment of present state boundaries, who retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions, but who may have been displaced from their traditional domains or who may have resettled outside their ancestral domains; i) Indigenous Political Structure - refer to organizational and cultural leadership systems, institutions, relationships, patterns and processed for decision-making and participation, identified by ICCs/IPs such as, but not limited to, Council of Elders, Council of Timuays, Bodong Holder, or any other tribunal or body of similar nature; j) Individual Claims - refer to claims on land and rights thereon which have been devolved to individuals, families and clans including, but not limited to, residential lots, rice terraces or paddies and tree lots; k) National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) - refers to the office created under this Act, which shall be under the Office of the President, and which shall be the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies, plans and programs to recognize, protect and promote the rights of ICCs/IPs; l) Native Title - refers to pre-conquest rights to lands and domains which, as far back as memory reaches, have been held under a claim of private ownership by ICCs/IPs, have never been public lands and are thus indisputably presumed to have been held that way since before the Spanish Conquest; m) Nongovernment Organization - refers to a private, nonprofit voluntary organization that has been organized primarily for the delivery of various services to the ICCs/IPs and has an established track record for effectiveness and acceptability in the community where it serves; n) People's Organization - refers to a private, nonprofit voluntary organization of members of an ICC/IP which is accepted as representative of such ICCs/IPs; o) Sustainable Traditional Resource Rights - refer to the rights of ICCs/IPs to sustainably use,manage, protect and conserve a) land, air, water, and minerals; b) plants, animals and other

organisms; c) collecting, fishing and hunting grounds; d) sacred sites; and e) other areas of economic, ceremonial and aesthetic value in accordance with their indigenous knowledge, beliefs, systems and practices; and p) Time Immemorial - refers to a period of time when as far back as memory can go, certain ICCs/IPs are known to have occupied, possessed in the concept of owner, and utilized a defined territory devolved to them, by operation of customary law or inherited from their ancestors, in accordance with their customs and traditions. CHAPTER III RIGHTS TO ANCESTRAL DOMAINS Section 4. Concept of Ancestral Lands/Domains. - Ancestral lands/domains shall include such concepts of territories which cover not only the physical environment but the total environment including the spiritual and cultural bonds to the area which the ICCs/IPs possess, occupy and use and to which they have claims of ownership. Section 5. Indigenous Concept of Ownership. - Indigenous concept of ownership sustains the view that ancestral domains and all resources found therein shall serve as the material bases of their cultural integrity. The indigenous concept of ownership generally holds that ancestral domains are the ICC's/IP's private but community property which belongs to all generations and therefore cannot be sold, disposed or destroyed. It likewise covers sustainable traditional resource rights. Section 6. Composition of Ancestral Lands/Domains. - Ancestral lands and domains shall consist of all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs as referred under Sec. 3, items (a) and (b) of this Act. Section 7. Rights to Ancestral Domains. - The rights of ownership and possession of ICCs/IPs t their ancestral domains shall be recognized and protected. Such rights shall include: a. Rights of Ownership.- The right to claim ownership over lands, bodies of water traditionally and actually occupied by ICCs/IPs, sacred places, traditional hunting and fishing grounds, and all improvements made by them at any time within the domains; b. Right to Develop Lands and Natural Resources . - Subject to Section 56 hereof, right to develop, control and use lands and territories traditionally occupied, owned, or used; to manage and conserve natural resources within the territories and uphold the responsibilities for future generations; to benefit and share the profits from allocation and utilization of the natural resources found therein; the right to negotiate the terms and conditions for the exploration of natural resources in the areas for the purpose of ensuring ecological, environmental protection and the conservation measures, pursuant to national and customary laws; the right to an informed and intelligent participation in the formulation and implementation of any project, government or private, that will affect or impact upon the ancestral domains and to receive just and fair compensation for any damages which they sustain as a result of the project; and the right to effective measures by the government to prevent any interfere with, alienation and encroachment upon these rights; c. Right to Stay in the Territories- The right to stay in the territory and not be removed therefrom. No ICCs/IPs will be relocated without their free and prior informed consent, nor through any means other than eminent domain. Where relocation is considered necessary as an exceptional measure, such relocation shall take place only with the free and prior informed consent of the ICCs/IPs concerned and whenever possible, they shall be guaranteed the right to return to their ancestral domains, as soon as the grounds for relocation cease to exist. When such return is not possible, as determined by agreement or through appropriate procedures, ICCs/IPs shall be provided in all possible cases with lands of quality and legal status at least equal to that of the land previously occupied by them, suitable to provide for their present needs and future development. Persons thus relocated shall likewise be fully compensated for any resulting loss or injury; d. Right in Case of Displacement. - In case displacement occurs as a result of natural catastrophes, the State shall endeavor to resettle the displaced ICCs/IPs in suitable areas where they can have temporary life support system: Provided, That the displaced ICCs/IPs shall have the right to return to their abandoned lands until such time that the normalcy and safety of such lands shall be determined: Provided, further, That should their ancestral domain cease to exist and normalcy and safety of the previous settlements are not possible, displaced ICCs/IPs shall

Section 11. the transferor ICC/IP shall have the right to redeem the same within a period not exceeding fifteen (15) years from the date of transfer. the ICCs/IPs shall have access to integrated systems for the management of their inland waters and air space. and only in default thereof shall the complaints be submitted to amicable settlement and to the Courts of Justice whenever necessary. . . as amended. Right to Safe and Clean Air and Water. . Recognition of Ancestral Domain Rights. g. .enjoy security of tenure over lands to which they have been resettled: Provided. Right to Redemption. .Individual members of cultural communities. which shall recognize the title of the concerned ICCs/IPs over the territories identified and delineated. undertake and participate in the reforestation of denuded areas and other development programs and projects subject to just and reasonable remuneration. Responsibilities of ICCs/IPs to their Ancestral Domains. Section 8.ICCs/IPs occupying a duly certified ancestral domain shall have the following responsibilities: a. . Right to transfer land/property. Right to Claim Parts of Reservations.To preserve.For this purpose.Unauthorized and unlawful intrusion upon. or use of any portion of the ancestral domain.In cases where it is shown that the transfer of land/property rights by virtue of any agreement or devise. pasture. and other reserves. the Government shall take measures to prevent non-ICCs/IPs from taking advantage of the ICCs/IPs customs or lack of understanding of laws to secure ownership. Observe Laws.Right to regulate the entry of migrant settlers and organizations into the domains.To observe and comply with the provisions of this Act and the rules and regulations for its effective implementation. watershed areas. shall be punishable under this law. have been in continuous possession and occupation of the same in the concept of owner since the immemorial or for a period of not less than thirty (30) years immediately preceding the approval of this Act and uncontested by the members of the same ICCs/IPs shall have the option to secure title to their ancestral lands under the provisions of Commonwealth Act 141. a. Formal recognition. Section 9. or the Land Registration Act 496. f. to their ancestral lands shall be recognized and protected.The right to claim parts of the ancestral domains which have been reserved for various purposes. b.Right to resolve land conflicts in accordance with customary laws of the area where the land is located. Section 10.Such right shall include the right to transfer land or property rights to/among members of the same ICCs/IPs. b. shall be embodied in a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT).or is transferred for an unconscionable consideration or price. except those reserved and intended for common and public welfare and service. possession of land belonging to said ICCs/IPs. to a non-member of the concerned ICCs/IPs is tainted by the vitiated consent of the ICCs/IPs. or any violation of the rights herein before enumerated. said individually-owned ancestral lands. Maintain Ecological Balance. with respect to individually-owned ancestral lands who. which are agricultural in character and actually used for agricultural. and c.The right of ownership and possession of the ICCs/IPs. . and h. are hereby classified as alienable and disposable agricultural lands. Unauthorized and Unlawful Intrusion . . Restore Denuded Areas. Right to Regulate Entry of Migrants .To actively initiate. Right to Resolve Conflict. residential. Rights to Ancestral Lands. Section 12. . or the Land Registration Act 496. Option to Secure Certificate of Title under Commonwealth Act 141. by themselves or through their predecessors-in -interest. Furthermore. . That basic services and livelihood shall be provided to them to ensure that their needs are adequately addressed: e. . and maintain a balanced ecology in the ancestral domain by protecting the flora and fauna. subject to customary laws and traditions of the community concerned. For this purpose.The rights of ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains by virtue of Native Title shall be recognized and respected. when solicited by ICCs/IPs concerned. and tree farming purposes. . furthermore. restore. as amended. including those with a slope of eighteen percent (18%) or more.

.The ICCs/IPs shall have the right to use their own commonly accepted justice systems. with due recognition of their distinct characteristics and identity. Section 19. . Towards this end. Section 16. Means for Development /Empowerment of ICCs/IPs.The ICCs/IPs living in contiguous areas or communities where they form the predominant population but which are located in municipalities. Tribal Barangays. educational and other rights and privileges available to every member of the society. basic services. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and International Human Rights Law. provinces or cities where they do not constitute the majority of the population. and the lands they own.Consistent with the equal protection clause of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. if they so choose.ICCs/IPs have the right to participate fully. The State shall likewise encourage other ICCs/IPs not included or outside Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera to use the form and content of their ways of life as may be compatible with the fundamental rights defined in the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and other internationally recognized human rights. the State shall guarantee the right of ICCs/IPs to freely pursue their economic. Role of Peoples Organizations. peace building processes or mechanisms and other customary laws and practices within their respective communities and as may be compatible with the national legal system and with internationally recognized human rights. opportunities. .The State recognizes the inherent right of ICCs/IPs to self-governance and self-determination and respects the integrity of their values. . . They shall participate in the formulation. may form or constitute a separate barangay in accordance with the Local Government Code on the creation of tribal barangays. Equal Protection and Non-discrimination of ICCs/IPs. lives and destinies through procedures determined by them as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous political structures. Right to Determine and Decide Priorities for Development . spiritual well-being. the State shall ensure that the ICCs/IPs shall be given mandatory representation in policy-making bodies and other local legislative councils. at all levels of decision-making in matters which may affect their rights. plans and programs for national. Right to Participate in Decision -Making . Consequently. Accordingly.The Government shall establish the means for the full development/empowerment of the ICCs/IPs own institutions and initiatives and. conflict resolution institutions. .The ICCs/IPs shall have the right to determine and decide their own priorities for development affecting their lives. regional and local development which may directly affect them. . institutions.implementation and evaluation of policies. Conflict Resolution Institutions and Peace Building Processes . protections and privileges enjoyed by the rest of the citizenry.The option granted under this Section shall be exercised within twenty (20) years from the approval of this Act. Section 18. where necessary. Section 17. CHAPTER IV RIGHT TO SELF-GOVERNANCE AND EMPOWERMENT Section 13. The State shall ensure that the fundamental human rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution and relevant international instruments are guaranteed also to indigenous women. Justice System. the Charter of the United Nations. Self-Governance.The State shall continue to strengthen and support the autonomous regions created under the Constitution as they may require or need. occupy or use. . the State shall. provide the resources needed therefor.The State shall recognize and respect the role of independent ICCs/IPs organizations to enable the ICCs/IPs to pursue and protect their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means. no provision in this Act shall be interpreted so as to result in the diminution of rights and privileges already recognized and accorded to women under existing laws of general application. Support for Autonomous Regions. Section 20. . the State shall likewise ensure that the employment of any form of force of coersion against ICCs/IPs shall be dealt with by law. Consequently. practices and institutions. accord to the members of the ICCs/IPs the rights. . CHAPTER V SOCIAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS Section 21. social and cultural development. Section 14. It shall extend to them the same employment rights. Section 15. beliefs.

. and in cooperation with the ICCs/IPs concerned. adequate and integrated system of education. Towards this end. health and social security. Equal remuneration shall be paid to ICC/IP and non-ICC/IP for work of equal value.Section 22. housing. for the protection of civilian populations in circumstances of emergency and armed conflict. the State shall guarantee the right of ICCs/IPs to government 's basic services which shall include. The State shall observe international standards. as well as in the development of society. Section 26. informed of their rights under existing labor legislation and of means available to them for redress.The ICC/IP have the right to special measures for the immediate. in particular. Rights during Armed Conflict. Freedom from Discrimination and Right to Equal Opportunity and Treatment . or relocate them in special centers for military purposes under any discriminatory condition. spiritual. Women. . as regards the social. through the NCIP. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous women. To deny any ICC/IP employee any right or benefit herein provided for or to discharge them for the purpose of preventing them from enjoying any of the rights or benefits provided under this Act. Section 28. territories and means of subsistence. . and in particular. and equal treatment in employment for men and women. .It shall be the right of the ICCs/IPs to be free from any form of discrimination.ICCs/IPs have the right to special protection and security in periods of armed conflict. moral. They shall likewise have the right not to be subject to working conditions hazardous to their health. Section 25. Section 24. Accordingly. Children and Youth. with respect to recruitment and conditions of employment. . the State shall within the framework of national laws and regulations. effective and continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. As far as possible. intellectual and social well-being. sanitation.The State shall recognize the vital role of the children and youth of ICCs/IPs in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical. Towards this end. education. Basic Services. and b. the State shall support all government programs intended for the development and rearing of the children and youth of ICCs/IPs for civic efficiency and establish such mechanisms as may be necessary for the protection of the rights of the indigenous children and youth. including the protection from sexual harassment. ICCs/IPs shall have the right to association and freedom for all trade union activities and the right to conclude collective bargaining agreements with employers' conditions. Unlawful Acts Pertaining to Employment . adopt special measures to ensure the effective protection with regard to the recruitment and conditions of employment of persons belonging to these communities. health and nutrition. vocational training and retraining. youth. children and differently-abled persons. spiritual. the State shall ensure that indigenous women have access to all services in their own languages. provide a complete. Section 23.It shall be unlawful for any person: a. to the extent that they are not effectively protected by the laws applicable to workers in general. The State shall provide full access to education. elderly. the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. Section 27. relevant to the needs of the children and Young people of ICCs/IPs. such that they may enjoy equal opportunities as other occupationally-related benefits. health and infrastructure. shall be given due respect and recognition. Integrated System of Education . for the use against other ICCs/IPs.ICC/IP women shall enjoy equal rights and opportunities with men. nor force indigenous individuals to abandon their lands. technical. particularly through exposure to pesticides and other toxic substances. including in the areas of employment. The participation of indigenous women in the decision-making process in all levels. professional and other forms of training shall be provided to enable these women to fully participate in all aspects of social life. not recruit children of ICCs/IPs into the armed forces under any circumstance.The State shall. moral. . and shall not recruit members of the ICCs/IPs against their will into armed forces. . political and cultural spheres of life. including bonded labor and other forms of debt servitude. . and housing services to indigenous women. but not limited to water and electrical facilities. economic. Vocational. To discriminate against any ICC/IP with respect to the terms and conditions of employment on account of their descent. maternal and child care. not subject to any coercive recruitment systems.

traditions and institutions . Section 35. and spiritual property taken without their free and prior informed consent or in violation of their laws. and b. . . intellectual. and visual and performing arts. Educational Systems.The State shall provide equal access to various cultural opportunities to the ICCs/IPs through the educational system. Accordingly. Right to Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices and to Develop own Sciences and Technologies. Access to Biological and Genetic Resources.The State shall endeavor to have the dignity and diversity of the cultures. The State shall likewise promote the bio-genetic and resource . develop teach their spiritual and religious traditions. . literature. public or cultural entities. Cultural Sites and Ceremonies . The State shall preserve.ICCs/IPs are entitled to the recognition of the full ownership and control and protection of their cultural and intellectual rights. Rights to Religious. seeds. They shall have the right to special measures to control. . Indigenous children/youth shall have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State.Access to biological and genetic resources and to indigenous knowledge related to the conservation. traditions. conferences. Sustainable Agro-Technical Development . the right to maintain. the Government shall take effective measures to ensure that Stateowned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. traditions and institutions. oral traditions.ICCs/IPs shall have the right to manifest. technologies and cultural manifestations. utilization and enhancement of these resources. including derivatives of these resources. Section 31. Protection of Indigenous Culture. . to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to promote tolerance. it shall be unlawful to: a. Consequently. seminars and workshops to promote and enhance their distinctive heritage and values. indigenous knowledge systems and practices. obtained in accordance with customary laws of the concerned community. public information and cultural-educational exchange. Section 33. traditions and customs. designs. respected and protected. Section 30.The state shall respect. including human and other genetic resources. The State shall likewise ensure the participation of appropriate indigenous leaders in schools. . and the right to the repatriation of human remains. grants and other incentives without prejudice to their right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions by providing education in their own language. . Section 32. histories and aspirations of the ICCs/IPs appropriately reflected in all forms of education. To achieve this purpose. Furthermore. knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora. be preserved. present and future manifestations of their cultures as well as the right to the restitution of cultural. the right to use and control of ceremonial object. understanding and good relations among ICCs/IPs and all segments of society. the State shall take effective measures. practice. Recognition of Cultural Diversity. recognize and protect the right of the ICCs/IPs to preserve and protect their culture. in consultation with ICCs/IPs concerned. traditional medicines and health practices. customs and ceremonies. the State shall take effective measures. vital medicinal plants.CHAPTER VI CULTURAL INTEGRITY Section 29. communities and international cooperative undertakings like festivals. excavate or make diggings on archeological sites of the ICCs/IPs for the purpose of obtaining materials of cultural values without the free and prior informed consent of the community concerned. religious. scholarships. in cooperation with the burial sites. Deface. Explore. in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning. It shall consider these rights in the formulation of national plans and policies. Community Intellectual Rights. protect and develop the past. Section 34. remove or otherwise destroy artifacts which are of great importance to the ICCs/IPs for the preservation of their cultural heritage. Section 36. protect and have access to their religious and cultural sites. animals and minerals.ICCs/IPs have the right to practice and revitalize their own cultural traditions and customs. . shall be allowed within ancestral lands and domains of the ICCs/IPs only with a free and prior informed consent of such communities.The State shall recognize the right of ICCs/IPs to a sustainable agro-technological development and shall formulate and implement programs of action for its effective implementation. develop and protect their sciences.

. Mandate.The President shall appoint the seven (7) Commissioners of the NCIP within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act. c) To formulate and implement policies. .management systems among the ICCs/IPs and shall encourage cooperation among government agencies to ensure the successful sustainable development of ICCs/IPs. . one (1) of whom shall be the Chairperson. The Commissioners shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines from a list of recommendees submitted by authentic ICCs/IPs: Provided. Composition. bonafide members of ICCs/IPs as certified by his/her tribe. .The NCIP shall be an independent agency under the Office of the President and shall be composed of seven (7) Commissioners belonging to ICCs/IPs. customs. e) To issue certificate of ancestral land/domain title. and must be of proven honesty and integrity: Provided. Compensation . or arrangement. .To accomplish its mandate. That the Chairperson and the Commissioners shall be entitled to compensation in accordance with the Salary Standardization Law. Section 43. jurisdiction and function: a) To serve as the primary government agency through which ICCs/IPs can seek government assistance and as the medium. before the expiration of his term for cause and after complying with due process requirement of law. and . at least 35 years of age at the time of appointment. and may be subject to re-appointment for another term: Provided. Island Groups including Mindoro.The ICCs/IPs shall have the right to receive from the national government all funds especially earmarked or allocated for the management and preservation of their archeological and historical sites and artifacts with the financial and technical support of the national government agencies. further. Romblon. the NCIP shall have the following powers. National Commission on Indigenous Cultural Communities /Indigenous Peoples (NCCP). Section 37. Palawan. Appointment to any vacancy shall only be for the unexpired term of the predecessor and in no case shall a member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity: Provided. That the seven (7) Commissioners shall be appointed specifically from each of the following ethnographic areas: Region I and the Cordilleras. there shall be created the National Commission on ICCs/IPs (NCIP). Southern and Eastern Mindanao. and Central Mindanao: Provided. traditions and institutions. Section 39. Powers and Functions. .The Chairperson and the six (6) Commissioners must be natural born Filipino citizens. That at least two (2) of the seven (7) Commissioners shall be women.to carry out the policies herein set forth. Tenure. . Northern and Western Mindanao. CHAPTER VII NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (NCIP) Section 38. with government or private agencies or entities as may be necessary to attain the objectives of this Act. d) To request and engage the services and support of experts from other agencies of government or employ private experts and consultants as may be required in the pursuit of its objectives. Panay and the rest of the Visayas. Section 41. That no person shall serve for more than two (2) terms. finally.The NCIP shall protect and promote the interest and well-being of the ICCs/IPs with due regard to their beliefs. to enter into contracts. programs and projects for the economic. Section 40. That at least two (2) of the seven (7) Commissioners shall be the members of the Philippine Bar: Provided. Funds for Archeological and Historical Sites. Removal from Office. Appointment of Commissioners. f) Subject to existing laws. plans. agreements. social and cultural development of the ICCs/IPs and to monitor the implementation thereof. Section 42. on his own initiative or upon recommendation by any indigenous community. furthermore. Qualifications.Any member of the NCIP may be removed from office by the President. . Region II. thorough which such assistance may be extended. experienced in ethnic affairs and who have worked for at least ten (10) years with an ICC/IP community and/or any government agency involved in ICC/IP. Section 44. b) To review and assess the conditions of ICCs/IPs including existing laws and policies pertinent thereto and to propose relevant laws and policies to address their role in national development. plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the ICCs/IPs and the recognition of their ancestral domains as well as their rights thereto. the rest of Luzon. That the members of the NCIP shall hold office for a period of three (3) years. which shall be the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies.

. b. Section 46. m) To issue appropriate certification as a pre-condition to the grant of permit. local and international. certification prior to the grant of any license. to obtain loans from government lending institutions and other lending institutions to finance its programs. It shall likewise perform such other functions as the Commission may deem appropriate and necessary. i) To convene periodic conventions or assemblies of IPs to review. donations. utilization. It shall also be responsible for the management of ancestral lands/domains in accordance with the master plans as well as the implementation of the ancestral domain rights of the ICCs/IPs as provided in Chapter III of this Act.Subject to such limitations as may be provided by law or by rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Officers within the NCIP. Planning and Research . documents and papers pertaining to official acts. Section 45. evaluation and policy formulation. Ancestral Domains Office . lease. l) To prepare and submit the appropriate budget to the Office of the President. management and appropriation by any private individual. upon the free and prior informed consent of the ICCs/IPs concerned. Accessibility and Transparency. lease or permit for the exploitation of natural resources affecting the interests of ICCs/IPs in protecting the territorial integrity of all ancestral domains.subject to the approval of the President. but not limited to. for the benefit of ICCs/IPs and administer the same in accordance with the terms thereof.The NCIP shall have the following offices which shall be responsible for the implementation of the policies herein after provided: a. Such plan shall undergo a process such that every five years. The Office shall also undertake the documentation of customary law and shall establish and maintain a Research Center that would serve as a depository of ethnographic information for monitoring. . n) To decide all appeals from the decisions and acts of all the various offices within the Commission: o) To promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of this Act. a report of its operations and achievements. It shall assist the legislative branch of the national government in the formulation of appropriate legislation benefiting ICCs/IPs. corporation or subdivision thereof on any part or portion of the ancestral domain taking into consideration the consensus approval of the ICCs/IPs concerned. assess as well as propose policies or plans. or in the absence of any condition.The Office on Policy. j) To advise the President of the Philippines on all matters relating to the ICCs/IPs and to submit within sixty (60) days after the close of each calendar year. in such manner consistent with the interest of ICCs/IPs as well as existing laws. or any other similar authority for the disposition.The Ancestral Domain Office shall be responsible for the identification. as well as research data used as basis for policy development of the Commission shall be made accessible to the public. corporate entity or any government agency. transactions or decisions. the development of a Five-Year Master Plan for the ICCs/IPs. gifts and/or properties in whatever form and from whatever source. h) To coordinate development programs and projects for the advancement of the ICCs/IPs and to oversee the proper implementation thereof. Office on Policy. It shall also issue. and q) To represent the Philippine ICCs/IPs in all international conferences and conventions dealing with indigenous peoples and other related concerns. delineation and recognition of ancestral land/domains. g) To negotiate for funds and to accept grants. p) To exercise such other powers and functions as may be directed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. all official records. the Commission shall endeavor to assess the plan and make ramifications in accordance with the changing situations. k) To submit to Congress appropriate legislative proposals intended to carry out the policies under this Act. . Planning and Research shall be responsible for the formulation of appropriate policies and programs for ICCs/IPs such as. grant. subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines.

It shall administer all scholarship programs and other educational rights intended for ICC/IP beneficiaries in coordination with the Department of Education. The staffing pattern of the office shall be determined by the NCIP subject to existing rules and regulations. Office of Empowerment and Human Rights . especially in areas where existing educational facilities are not accessible to members of the indigenous group. finance. . physical therapy and other allied courses pertaining to the health profession. Office on Socio-Economic Services and Special Concerns .political. it shall initiate the filing of appropriate legal or administrative action to the NCIP. It shall likewise ensure that the basic human rights. nursing.c. both formal and non-formal.The NCIP shall have the power to create additional offices as it may deem necessary subject to existing rules and regulations. Education and Health shall be responsible for the effective implementation of the education.The Office on Culture. Towards this end.There shall be a Legal Affairs Office which shall advice the NCIP on all legal matters concerning ICCs/IPs and which shall be responsible for providing ICCs/IPs with legal assistance in litigation involving community interest. . Section 50. The office shall be headed by an Executive Director who shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines upon the recommendation of the NCIP on a permanent basis. It shall also identify ICCs/IPs with potential training in the health profession and encourage and assist them to enroll in schools of medicine. cultural and economic rights are respected and recognized. Other Offices. Legal Affairs Office . supplies. and related services. subject to existing laws. a special program which includes language and vocational training. On the basis of its findings. Office of Education. for the benefit of the local indigenous community. It shall also administer the Ancestral Domains Fund. . plans and programs affecting the ICCs/IPs to ensure that the same are properly and directly enjoyed by them. to participate in all level decision-making. within the limits of available appropriation. if they so choose. rules and regulations are protected and promoted. That in provinces where there are ICCs/IPs but without field offices.Existing regional and field offices shall remain to function under the strengthened organizational structure of the NCIP. the NCIP shall deploy a representative in each of the said offices who shall personally perform the foregoing task and who shall receive complaints from the ICCs/IPs and compel action from appropriate agency. It shall undertake. security.The Office of Empowerment and Human Rights shall ensure that indigenous socio. It shall ensure that capacity building mechanisms are instituted and ICCs/IPs are afforded every opportunity. Section 49. policies.The Administrative Office shall provide the NCIP with economical. Regional and Field Offices. Office of the Executive Director . Consultative Body. equipment. efficient and effective services pertaining to personnel. d. Culture and Health .A body consisting of the traditional leaders. and g. public health and family assistance program and related subjects.The Office on Socio-Economic Services and Special Concerns shall serve as the Office through which the NCIP shall coordinate with pertinent government agencies specially charged with the implementation of various basic socio-economic services. Section 48. Administrative Office . records. cultural and related rights as provided in this Act. It shall conduct preliminary investigation on the basis of complaints filed by the ICCs/IPs against a natural or juridical person believed to have violated ICCs/IPs rights. promote and support community schools. . e. the NCIP shall establish field offices in said provinces. It shall also be responsible for such other functions as the NCIP may deem appropriate and necessary. and such other rights as the NCIP may determine. f. It shall assist. Other field office shall be created wherever appropriate and the staffing pattern thereof shall be determined by the NCIP: Provided. Culture and Sports and the Commission on Higher Education.The NCIP shall create the Office of the Executive Director which shall serve as its secretariat. It shall also monitor the activities of the National Museum and other similar government agencies generally intended to manage and preserve historical and archeological artifacts of the ICCs /IPs and shall be responsible for the implementation of such other functions as the NCIP may deem appropriate and necessary. Section 47. elders and representatives from the women and youth sectors of the different ICCs/IPs shall be constituted by the .

The Government shall take the necessary steps to identify lands which the ICCs/IPs concerned traditionally occupy and guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession thereto. ridges. e. 2. Delineation and Recognition of Ancestral Domains. d. Petition for Delineation . . nor to ancestral lands and domains delineated under any other community/ancestral domain program prior to the enactment of his law. and a description of the natural features and landmarks embraced therein. 4. sacred places and old villages. . Delineation will be done in coordination with the community concerned and shall at all times include genuine involvement and participation by the members of the communities concerned. series of 1993. terraces and the like. 6. 3. and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by such ICCs/IPs in the concept of owners which shall be any one (1) of the following authentic documents: 1. shall be immediately undertaken by the Ancestral Domains Office upon filing of the application by the ICCs/IPs concerned. will be essential to the determination of these traditional territories. CHAPTER VIII DELINEATION AND RECOGNITION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS Section 51. Write-ups of names and places derived from the native dialect of the community. creeks. Pictures showing long term occupation such as those of old improvements.On the basis of such investigation and the findings of fact based thereon. Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs political structure and institution.Self-delineation shall be guiding principle in the identification and delineation of ancestral domains. aspirations and interests of the ICCs/IPs. hills. 2. Historical accounts. Ancestral Domains Delineated Prior to this Act . Delineation Process.Proof of Ancestral Domain Claims shall include the testimony of elders or community under oath. rivers. the ICCs/IPs concerned shall have a decisive role in all the activities pertinent thereto. burial grounds. including pacts and agreements concerning boundaries entered into by the ICCs/IPs concerned with other ICCs/IPs. c. and 10.The provisions hereunder shall not apply to ancestral domains/lands already delineated according to DENR Administrative Order No. Proof required . Preparation of Maps . Anthropological data. Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional communal forests and hunting grounds. complete with technical descriptions. 5. As such. Genealogical surveys.The identification and delineation of ancestral domains shall be done in accordance with the following procedures: a. The Sworn Statement of the Elders as to the Scope of the territories and agreements/pacts made with neighboring ICCs/IPs. 9. Measures shall be taken in appropriate cases to safeguard the rights of the ICCs/IPs concerned to land which may no longer be exclusively occupied by them. the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP shall prepare a perimeter map. by a majority of the members of the ICCs/IPs.The process of delineating a specific perimeter may be initiated by the NCIP with the consent of the ICC/IP concerned. but to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional activities. . 8. Survey plans and sketch maps. b.NCIP from the time to time to advise it on matters relating to the problems. Section 52. ICCs/IPs enactment of this law shall have the right to apply for the issuance of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) over the area without going through the process outlined hereunder. Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional landmarks such as mountains. 7. Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs customs and traditions. if any.The official delineation of ancestral domain boundaries including census of all community members therein. or through a Petition for Delineation filed with the NCIP. Delineation Paper . particularly of ICCs/IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting cultivators.

That in case of rejection. g. j. and Department of Justice. the Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare a report to the NCIP endorsing a favorable action upon a claim that is deemed to have sufficient proof. Issuance of CADT . containing a list of all those identified in the census. the Commissioner of the National Development Corporation. d. furthermore.The Chairperson of the NCIP shall certify that the area covered is an ancestral domain. provincial and regional offices of the NCIP. The denial shall be appealable to the NCIP: Provided. the Ancestral Domains Office shall give the applicant due notice. a. The secretaries of the Department of Agrarian Reform. including tax declarations and proofs of payment of taxes. the Ancestral Domains Office shall require the submission of additional evidence: Provided. h. Department of the Interior and Local Government. may shed light on the veracity of the contents of the application/claim.ICCs/IPs whose ancestral domains have been officially delineated and determined by the NCIP shall be issued a CADT in the name of the community concerned. That mere posting shall be deemed sufficient if both newspaper and radio station are not available. Turnover of Areas Within Ancestral Domains Managed by Other Government Agencies .Within fifteen (15) days from publication. broadcasting in a radio station will be a valid substitute: Provided. A copy of the document shall also be posted at the local. Individual and indigenous corporate claimants of ancestral lands which are not within ancestral domains. Upon receipt of the applications for delineation and recognition of ancestral land claims. may have their claims officially established by filing applications for the identification and delineation of their claims with the Ancestral Domains Office. the Ancestral Domains Office shall cause the publication of the application and a copy of each document submitted including a translation in the native language of the ICCs/IPs concerned in . containing the grounds for denial. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. b. further. The Ancestral Domains Office may require from each ancestral claimant the submission of such other documents. if the proof is deemed insufficient. which in its opinion.The NCIP shall register issued certificates of ancestral domain titles and certificates of ancestral lands titles before the Register of Deeds in the place where the property is situated. 52 (d) of this act. Notice and Publication . Report of Investigation and Other Documents . That the Ancestral Domains Office shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification: Provided. An individual or recognized head of a family or clan may file such application in his behalf or in behalf of his family or clan. Delineation and Certification of Ancestral Lands . and k. the Ancestral Domains Office shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict. e. Registration of CADTs . without prejudice to its full adjudication according to the selection below.A copy of each document. and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within fifteen (15) days from the date of such publication: Provided. c. including a translation in the native language of the ICCs/IPs concerned shall be posted in a prominent place therein for at least fifteen (15) days. However. further. The allocation of lands within any ancestral domain to individual or indigenous corporate (family or clan) claimants shall be left to the ICCs/IPs concerned to decide in accordance with customs and traditions. respectively.f. i. and any other government agency claiming jurisdiction over the area shall be notified thereof. Such notification shall terminate any legal basis for the jurisdiction previously claimed. Proofs of such claims shall accompany the application form which shall include the testimony under oath of elders of the community and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the areas since time immemorial by the individual or corporate claimants in the concept of owners which shall be any of the authentic documents enumerated under Sec. copy furnished all concerned. That in areas where no such newspaper exists.A complete copy of the preliminary census and a report of investigation. and of the inspection process. That in cases where there are conflicting claims. Sworn Statements and the like. Section 53. Endorsement to NCIP . Identification. shall be prepared by the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP.

In case of conflicting claims among individual or indigenous corporate claimants. without prior certification from the NCIP that the area affected does not overlap with any ancestral domain.all department and other governmental agencies shall henceforth be strictly enjoined from issuing. the Director of Lands shall represent the interest of the Republic of the Philippines. Environmental Consideration . or entering into any production-sharing agreement. develop. Communal Rights. That communal rights under this Act shall not be construed as co-ownership as provided in Republic Act. pursuant to its own decision making process. Section 58. Section 55. mangroves wildlife sanctuaries. and regional offices of the NCIP and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within fifteen (15) days from the date of such publication: Provided. license or lease. development or exploitation of any natural resources within the ancestral domains. The ICCs/IPs concerned shall be given the responsibility to maintain. renewing. Natural Resources within Ancestral Domains. . copy furnished all concerned. protect and conserve such areas with the full and effective assistance of the government agencies. . review existing claims which have been fraudulently acquired by any person or community. any person or community may be cancelled by the NCIP after due notice and hearing of all parties concerned.Property rights within the ancestral domains already existing and/or vested upon effectivity of this Act. and if found to be meritorious. Any claim found to be fraudulently acquired by. Certification Precondition. said decision must be made in writing. . shall cause a parcellary survey of the area being claimed. and issued to. That the transfer shall be temporary and will ultimately revert to the ICCs/IPs in accordance with a program for technology transfer: Provided. shall be recognized and respected. 386. finally. . further.The Ancestral Domains Office may. otherwise known as the New Civil Code. That the all extractions shall be used to facilitate the development and improvement of the ancestral domains. 62 of this Act.a prominent place therein for at least fifteen (15) days. Section 54.The ICCs/IPs shall have the priority rights in the harvesting. The consent of the ICCs/IPs should be arrived at in accordance with its customary laws without prejudice to the basic requirement of the existing laws on free and prior informed consent: Provided. . Existing Property Rights Regimes. The Ancestral Domains office shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification. or granting any concession. In case of rejection. In all proceedings for the identification or delineation of the ancestral domains as herein provided. areas within the ancestral domains. forest cover. has agreed to allow such operation: Provided. in turn. . broadcasting in a radio station will be a valid substitute: Provided. A copy of the document shall also be posted at the local. Section 57. The Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare and submit a report on each and every application surveyed and delineated to the NCIP. Fifteen (15) days after such publication. A non-member of the ICCs/IPs concerned may be allowed to take part in the development and utilization of the natural resources for a period of not exceeding twenty-five (25) years renewable for not more than twenty-five (25) years: Provided. No. which shall. upon written request from the ICCs/IPs. the Ancestral Domains Office shall investigate and inspect each application. the Ancestral domains Office shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict. That a formal and written agreement is entered into with the ICCs/IPs concerned or that the community. Should the ICCs/IPs decide to transfer the responsibility over the areas. extraction. the Ancestral Domains office shall give the applicant due notice. shall be presumed to be communally held: Provide. Fraudulent Claims. whether delineated or not. wilderness. provincial. protected areas. managed and developed for such purposes. further. Section 59. Section 56. That in areas where no such newspaper exists. evaluate or corporate (family or clan) claimant over ancestral lands. The denial shall be appealable to the NCIP.Subject to Section 56 hereof.Ancestral domains or portion thereof. without prejudice to its full adjudication according to Sec. That mere posting shall be deemed sufficient if both newspapers and radio station are not available f. That no ICCs/IPs shall be displaced or relocated for the purpose enumerated under this section without the written consent of the specific persons authorized to give consent. containing the grounds for denial. which are found necessary for critical watersheds. Such certificate shall only be issued after a field- . and g. or reforestation as determined by the appropriate agencies with the full participation of the ICCs/IPs concerned shall be maintained.

Resolution of Conflicts. the NCIP shall hear and decide. which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP. The DENR Secretary shall accommodate any such request within one (1) month of its issuance: Provided. . implementation. finally. claims and ownerships. Remedial Measures.When disputes involve ICCs/IPs. through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). among others. That no department. lease. award or ruling of the NCIP on any ancestral domain dispute or on any matter pertaining to the application. That the ICCs/IPs shall have the right to stop or suspend.All lands certified to be ancestral domains shall be exempt from real property taxes.Customary laws. further. That the action for cancellation shall be initiated within two (2) years from the effectivity of this Act: Provided. Section 66.In cases of conflicting interest. That the action for reconveyance shall be a period of ten (10) years in accordance with existing laws. further. further. That the Memorandum of Agreement shall stipulate. that all exactions shall be used to facilitate the development and improvement of the ancestral domains. That such procedure shall ensure that the rights of possessors in good faith shall be respected: Provided. after notice to the proper parties. Any doubt or ambiguity in the application of laws shall be resolved in favor of the ICCs/IPs. That no certificate shall be issued by the NCIP without the free and prior informed and written consent of the ICCs/IPs concerned: Provided. CHAPTER IX JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURES FOR ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS Section 65. however. . The NCIP shall take appropriate legal action for the cancellation of officially documented titles which were acquired illegally: Provided. . Section 61. hereditary succession and settlement of land disputes. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. . through its regional offices.The NCIP. Section 63. where there are adverse claims within the ancestral domains as delineated in the survey plan. For this purpose. order.Decisions of the NCIP shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals by way of a petition for review. Appeals to the Court of Appeals. a provision for technology transfer to the NCIP. Applicable Laws. enforcement and interpretation of this Act may be brought for Petition for Review to the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof. The NCIP shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to carry out its adjudicatory functions: Provided. Exemption from Taxes. government agency or government-owned or -controlled corporation may issue new concession. Primary of Customary Laws and Practices. specially levies. customary process shall be followed. commercial forest plantation and residential purposes and upon titling by other by private person: Provided. .Expropriation may be resorted to in the resolution of conflicts of interest following the principle of the "common good". . license.based investigation is conducted by the Ancestral Domain Office of the area concerned: Provided. That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. in accordance with this Act. That in any decision. or production sharing agreement while there is pending application CADT: Provided. the NCIP is hereby authorized to request the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) survey teams as well as other equally capable private survey teams. Section 64. the disputes arising from the delineation of such ancestral domains: Provided. but in no case beyond three (3) years after its creation. Temporary Requisition Powers. and which cannot be resolved. Section 60. to delineate ancestral domain perimeters. Provided. Section 62. shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs. That if the dispute is between and/or among ICCs/IPs regarding the traditional boundaries of their respective ancestral domains.Prior to the establishment of an institutional surveying capacity whereby it can effectively fulfill its mandate. any project that has not satisfied the requirement of this consultation process. . . and other forms of exaction except such portion of the ancestral domains as are actually used for large-scale agriculture. traditions and practices of the ICCs/IPs of the land where the conflict arises shall be applied first with respect to property rights. . finally. Section 67. customary laws and practices shall be used to resolve the dispute. a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved.

To promulgate rules and regulations governing the hearing and disposition of cases filed before it as well as those pertaining to its internal functions and such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. if not restrained forthwith.Upon expiration of the period here provided and no appeal is perfected by any of the contending parties. authorized and/or unlawful intrusion upon any ancestral lands or domains as stated in Sec. such as. Punishable Acts and Applicable Penalties. .Any person who commits violation of any of the provisions of this Act. all officers such as. Section 73. Thereafter such amount shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.000) nor more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500. may cause grave or irreparable damage to any of the parties to the case or seriously affect social or economic activity. Section 70. c.The NCIP shall have the power and authority: a. degrading or inhuman punishment: Provided. . Execution of Decisions. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the NCIP.000. dispute or controversy to. to be known as the Ancestral Domains Fund. Chapter III. in addition to the cancellation of certificates of their registration and/or license: . summon the parties to a controversy. shall issue a writ of execution requiring the sheriff or the proper officer to execute final decisions. CHAPTER XI PENALTIES Section 72.If the offender is a juridical person. further. . but not limited to. or shall commit any of the prohibited acts mentioned in Sections 21 and 24.000.000) or both such fine and imprisonment upon the discretion of the court. endowments shall be exempted from income or gift taxes and all other taxes. Ancestral Domains Fund.There is hereby created a special fund.000) shall be sourced from the gross income of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from its lotto operation. manager. In which case.000. the Hearing Officer of the NCIP. the fund of the Social Reform Council intended for survey and delineation of ancestral lands/domains. Chapter VI hereof. Persons Subject to Punishment. orders or awards of the Regional Hearing Officer of the NCIP. issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of such books. This provision shall be without prejudice to the right of any ICCs/IPs to avail of the protection of existing laws. The NCIP may also solicit and receive donations.Section 68. delineation and development of ancestral domains. No restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction . on its own initiative or upon motion by the prevailing party. 10. An amount of Fifty million pesos (P50. upon conviction. That neither shall the death penalty or excessive fines be imposed. Orders.000) to cover compensation for expropriated lands. he shall be obliged to pay to the ICCs/IPs concerned whatever damage may have been suffered by the latter as a consequence of the unlawful act. its president. and d. papers. To enjoin any or all acts involving or arising from any case pending therefore it which. b. directly or indirectly. an initial amount of the One Hundred thirty million pesos(P130. be punished by imprisonment of not less than nine (9) months but not more than twelve (12) years or a fine not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100. That no such penalty shall be cruel. Foreign as well as local funds which are made available for the ICCs/IPs through the government of the Philippines shall be coursed through the NCIP. agreements and other document of similar nature as may be material to a just determination of the matter under investigation or hearing conducted in pursuance of this Act. contracts. . Ten millions pesos (P10. or interpretation of this Act and other pertinent laws relating to ICCs/IPs and ancestral domains. Section 33. and such other source as the government may be deem appropriate. To administer oaths. Chapter V. or head of office responsible for their unlawful act shall be criminally liable therefor. charges or fees imposed by the government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof. In addition. shall be punished in accordance with the customary laws of the ICCs/IPs concerned: Provided. and impose appropriate penalties therefor. Section 69. . To hold any person in contempt.000) from the gross receipts of the travel tax of the preceding year. . but not limited to.No inferior court of the Philippines shall have the jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the NCIP or any of its duly authorized or designated offices in any case. Awards. CHAPTER X ANCESTRAL DOMAINS FUND Section 71. records. any person who violates any provision of this Act shall.

Placement Committee. 122-B and 122-C respectively. CHAPTER XII MERGER OF THE OFFICE FOR NORTHERN CULTURAL COMMUNITIES (ONCC) AND THE OFFICE FOR SOUTHERN CULTURAL COMMUNITIES (OSCC) Section 74. which shall assist in the judicious selection and placement of personnel in order that the best qualified and most deserving persons shall be appointed in the reorganized agency. the NCIP shall issue the necessary rules and regulations. further. priority shall be given to the former. furthermore. CHAPTER XIII FINAL PROVISIONS Section 78. . That if the offender is a public official. the penalty shall include perpetual disqualification to hold public office. further. Officers and employees who may be reinstated shall refund such retirement benefits or gratuity received: Provided. a Placement Committee shall be created by the NCIP. Thereafter. . Transition Period. . in coordination with the Civil Service Commission. Appropriations. Implementing Rules and Regulations. modified or amended by the NCIP. the merged offices as aforestated shall be transferred to the NCIP without further need of conveyance. Section 79. are hereby merged as organic offices of the NCIP and shall continue to function under a revitalized and strengthened structures to achieve the objectives of the NCIP: Provided. Merger of ONCC/OSCC. such sums as may be necessary for its continued implementation shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. If they are already entitled to retirement benefits or the gratuity herein provided. nongovernment organizations (NGOs) who have served the community for at least five (5) years and peoples organizations (POs) with at least five (5) years of existence.All real and personal properties which are vested in. transfer or assignment and shall be held for the same purpose as they were held by the former offices: Provided. That all contracts.The Office for Northern Cultural Communities (ONCC) and the Office of Southern Cultural Communities (OSCC).Within sixty (60) days immediately after appointment. administrative or other processes before the effectivity of this Act shall remain valid: Provided. Transfer of Assets/Properties.The City of Baguio shall remain to be governed by its Chapter and all lands proclaimed as part of its townsite reservation shall remain as such until otherwise reclassified by appropriate legislation: Provided. are hereby phased-out upon the effectivity of this Act: Provided. They shall be guided by the criteria of retention and appointment to be prepared by the consultative body and by the pertinent provisions of the civil service law. finally That absorbed personnel must still meet the qualifications and standards set by the Civil Service and the Placement Committee herein created. Officers and employees who are to be phased-out as a result of the merger of their offices shall be entitled to gratuity a rate equivalent to one and a half (1 1/2) months salary for every year of continuous and satisfactory service rendered or the equivalent nearest fraction thereof favorable to them on the basis of the highest salary received. That in the case where an indigenous person and a non-indigenous person with similar qualifications apply for the same position. Section 76. . records and documents shall be transferred to the NCIP.Subject to rules on government reorganization. . All agreements and contracts entered into by the merged offices shall remain in full force and effect unless otherwise terminated. That prior land rights and titles recognized and/or required through any judicial. Section 77. .The amount necessary to finance the initial implementation of this Act shall be charged against the current year's appropriation of the ONCC and the OSCC. in consultation with the . created under Executive Order Nos. Section 75. That officials and employees of the phased-out offices who may be qualified may apply for reappointment with the NCIP and may be given prior rights in the filing up of the newly created positions of NCIP. That this provision shall not apply to any territory which becomes part of the City of Baguio after the effectivity of this Act. or belonging to. The placement Committee shall be composed of seven (7) commissioners and an ICCs/IPs representative from each of the first and second level employees association in the Offices for Northern and Southern Cultural Communities (ONCC/OSCC). That the positions of Regional Directors and below. .The ONCC/OSCC shall have a period of six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act within which to wind up its affairs and to conduct audit of its finances. Section 80.Provided. subject to the qualifications set by the Placement Committee: Provided. Special Provision.

shall equally enjoy the full measure of human rights and freedoms without distinctions or discriminations. taking into consideration their customs. recommendations. APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR. decrees. AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: : CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS Section 1. the State shall institute and establish the necessary mechanisms to enforce and guarantee the realization of these rights. Towards these ends.Committees on National Cultural Communities of the House of Representatives and the Senate. b)The State shall protect the rights of ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains to ensure their economic. Saving Clause. 122-B and 122-C. Approved: 29 October 1997.This Act will not in any manner adversely affect the rights and benefits of the ICCs/IPs under other conventions. Effectivity. . respect and protect the rights of ICCs/IPs to preserve and develop their cultures. d) The State shall guarantee that members of the ICCs/IPs regardless of sex. Declaration of State Policies. and natural resources therein. PROTECT AND PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMUNITIES/INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. health. c) The State shall recognize. coastal areas. . rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Section 82. 1997 AN ACT TO RECOGNIZE. Repealing Clause. to protect their rights and guarantee respect for their cultural integrity. e) The State shall take measures. . national laws. Separability Clause. awards.Subject to Section 56 hereof. CHAPTER II DEFINITION OF TERMS Section 3. their rights to their ancestral domains. . . customs and agreements.In case any provision of this Act or any portion thereof is declared unconstitutional by a competent court. other provisions shall not be affected thereby. beliefs. Section 81. traditions. traditions and institutions. Section 83. Short Title. Republic Act No. orders. international treaties." Section 2.This Act shall be known as "The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. for the effective implementation of this Act. social and cultural well being and shall recognize the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain. Definition of Terms. the following terms shall mean: a) Ancestral Domains . refer to all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs comprising lands. and all other laws. . values.inland waters. with the participation of the ICCs/IPs concerned. It shall consider these rights in the formulation of national laws and policies.The State shall recognize and promote all the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) hereunder enumerated within the framework of the Constitution: a) The State shall recognize and promote the rights of ICCs/IPs within the framework of national unity and development.Presidential Decree NO. Section 84. CREATING A NATIONAL COMMISSION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. 410.This Act shall take effect fifteen days (15) days upon its publication in the Official Gazette or in any two (2) newspapers of general circulation. . 8371 October 29. ESTABLISHING IMPLEMENTING MECHANISMS. held . Executive Order Nos. and to ensure that members of the ICCs/IPs benefit on an equal footing from the rights and opportunities which national laws and regulations grant to other members of the population and f) The State recognizes its obligations to respond to the strong expression of the ICCs/IPs for cultural integrity by assuring maximum ICC/IP participation in the direction of education. as well as other services of ICCs/IPs.For purposes of this Act. in order to render such services more responsive to the needs and desires of these communities.

refer to claims on land and rights thereon which have been devolved to individuals. under claims of ownership since time immemorial. under claims of individual or traditional group ownership. to the present except when interrupted by war. usages. institutions. . rice terraces or paddies and tree lots. particularly the home ranges of ICCs/IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting cultivators. i) Indigenous Political Structure . c) Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title . burial grounds. residential lots. free from any external manipulation. j) Individual Claims . or at the time of inroads of non-indigenous religions and cultures. stealth or as a consequence of government projects or any other voluntary dealings entered into by government and private individuals. but not limited to. and who have. e) Communal Claims . residential lots. rice terraces or paddies. but not limited to. force majeure or displacement by force. who retain some or all of their own social. but not limited to.Subject to Section 56 hereof. in a language an process understandable to the community. and other lands individually owned whether alienable and disposable or otherwise. relationships. through resistance to political. Bodong Holder. b) Ancestral Lands . force majeure or displacement by force. communally or individually since time immemorial. possessed and utilized by individuals. deceit. by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest. hunting grounds.refer to claims on land. became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos. but who may have been displaced from their traditional domains or who may have resettled outside their ancestral domains. be determined in accordance with their respective customary laws and practices. private forests. corporations. social and cultural welfare. interference and coercion. resources and rights thereon. families and clans including. Council of Elders. and which are necessary to ensure their economic.refer to a group of people or homogenous societies identified by self-ascription and ascription by other. It shall include ancestral land. agricultural.as used in this Act shall mean the consensus of all members of the ICCs/IPs to. or any other tribunal or body of similar nature. Council of Timuays. cultural and political institutions. and lands which may no longer be exclusively occupied by ICCs/IPs but from which their traditionally had access to for their subsistence and traditional activities. stealth. identified by ICCs/IPs such as.continuously. ICCs/IPs shall likewise include peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country. patterns and processed for decision-making and participation. occupied.refer to a body of written and/or unwritten rules. deceit. customs and practices traditionally and continually recognized. possessed customs. economic. accepted and observed by respective ICCs/IPs. residential. who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory. h) Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples . and obtained after fully disclosing the intent and scope of the activity. worship areas. g) Free and Prior Informed Consent . at the time of conquest or colonization. including. d) Certificate of Ancestral Lands Title . themselves or through their ancestors. families and clans who are members of the ICCs/IPs since time immemorial. social and cultural inroads of colonization. pasture. refers to land occupied.refers to a title formally recognizing the rights of ICCs/IPs over their ancestral lands.refer to organizational and cultural leadership systems.under a claim of ownership. bodies of water. forests. or who have. mineral and other natural resources. tradition and other distinctive cultural traits. continuously to the present except when interrupted by war. non-indigenous religions and culture. belonging to the whole community within a defined territory f) Customary Laws . occupied or possessed by ICCs/IPs. or the establishment of present state boundaries. swidden farms and tree lots. or as a consequence of government projects and other voluntary dealings entered into by government and private individuals/corporations.refers to a title formally recognizing the rights of possession and ownership of ICCs/IPs over their ancestral domains identified and delineated in accordance with this law.

and e) other areas of economic. sacred places. the right to an informed and intelligent participation in the formulation and implementation of any project. CHAPTER III RIGHTS TO ANCESTRAL DOMAINS Section 4. beliefs. in accordance with their customs and traditions. control and use lands and territories traditionally occupied. .The right to stay in the territory and not be removed therefrom. Section 6. nonprofit voluntary organization of members of an ICC/IP which is accepted as representative of such ICCs/IPs. protect and promote the rights of ICCs/IPs. to benefit and share the profits from allocation and utilization of the natural resources found therein. certain ICCs/IPs are known to have occupied. . fishing and hunting grounds. and all improvements made by them at any time within the domains. to manage and conserve natural resources within the territories and uphold the responsibilities for future generations.refers to a private.refers to pre-conquest rights to lands and domains which. d) sacred sites.refers to the office created under this Act. animals and other organisms. plans and programs to recognize. water.refers to a period of time when as far back as memory can go. Composition of Ancestral Lands/Domains. o) Sustainable Traditional Resource Rights . and p) Time Immemorial . The indigenous concept of ownership generally holds that ancestral domains are the ICC's/IP's private but community property which belongs to all generations and therefore cannot be sold. bodies of water traditionally and actually occupied by ICCs/IPs. Section 7. No ICCs/IPs will be relocated without their free and prior informed consent. air. protect and conserve a) land. It likewise covers sustainable traditional resource rights. ceremonial and aesthetic value in accordance with their indigenous knowledge.The rights of ownership and possession of ICCs/IPs t their ancestral domains shall be recognized and protected. and minerals. b. . and the right to effective measures by the government to prevent any interfere with.The right to claim ownership over lands.k) National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) . n) People's Organization . owned. the right to negotiate the terms and conditions for the exploration of natural resources in the areas for the purpose of ensuring ecological.. b) plants.Indigenous concept of ownership sustains the view that ancestral domains and all resources found therein shall serve as the material bases of their cultural integrity. Right to Develop Lands and Natural Resources . have never been public lands and are thus indisputably presumed to have been held that way since before the Spanish Conquest. have been held under a claim of private ownership by ICCs/IPs. environmental protection and the conservation measures. right to develop. . Right to Stay in the Territories. and utilized a defined territory devolved to them. Such rights shall include: a.Subject to Section 56 hereof. 3.refer to the rights of ICCs/IPs to sustainably use. disposed or destroyed. .Ancestral lands and domains shall consist of all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs as referred under Sec. alienation and encroachment upon these rights. Concept of Ancestral Lands/Domains.refers to a private. Indigenous Concept of Ownership.Ancestral lands/domains shall include such concepts of territories which cover not only the physical environment but the total environment including the spiritual and cultural bonds to the area which the ICCs/IPs possess. by operation of customary law or inherited from their ancestors. which shall be under the Office of the President. and which shall be the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies. government or private. c. as far back as memory reaches. l) Native Title . Rights of Ownership. pursuant to national and customary laws. systems and practices. Section 5. c) collecting. m) Nongovernment Organization . nor through any . possessed in the concept of owner. that will affect or impact upon the ancestral domains and to receive just and fair compensation for any damages which they sustain as a result of the project. nonprofit voluntary organization that has been organized primarily for the delivery of various services to the ICCs/IPs and has an established track record for effectiveness and acceptability in the community where it serves. or used.manage. traditional hunting and fishing grounds. items (a) and (b) of this Act. Rights to Ancestral Domains. occupy and use and to which they have claims of ownership.

Furthermore. they shall be guaranteed the right to return to their ancestral domains. b. except those reserved and intended for common and public welfare and service. shall be punishable under this law. Section 10. Section 8. Right to Claim Parts of Reservations. displaced ICCs/IPs shall enjoy security of tenure over lands to which they have been resettled: Provided. Persons thus relocated shall likewise be fully compensated for any resulting loss or injury. to a non-member of the concerned ICCs/IPs is tainted by the vitiated consent of the ICCs/IPs. Maintain Ecological Balance. restore. the State shall endeavor to resettle the displaced ICCs/IPs in suitable areas where they can have temporary life support system: Provided. . furthermore. . the transferor ICC/IP shall have the right to redeem the same within a period not exceeding fifteen (15) years from the date of transfer. suitable to provide for their present needs and future development. b. Right to Redemption.To actively initiate. That basic services and livelihood shall be provided to them to ensure that their needs are adequately addressed: e.or is transferred for an unconscionable consideration or price. . possession of land belonging to said ICCs/IPs. watershed areas. Rights to Ancestral Lands.For this purpose.In case displacement occurs as a result of natural catastrophes.The right to claim parts of the ancestral domains which have been reserved for various purposes. subject to customary laws and traditions of the community concerned. as determined by agreement or through appropriate procedures. ICCs/IPs shall be provided in all possible cases with lands of quality and legal status at least equal to that of the land previously occupied by them. further. and other reserves.Right to regulate the entry of migrant settlers and organizations into the domains. . or use of any portion of the ancestral domain. and c. . such relocation shall take place only with the free and prior informed consent of the ICCs/IPs concerned and whenever possible.In cases where it is shown that the transfer of land/property rights by virtue of any agreement or devise. That the displaced ICCs/IPs shall have the right to return to their abandoned lands until such time that the normalcy and safety of such lands shall be determined: Provided.To preserve. Restore Denuded Areas. .Right to resolve land conflicts in accordance with customary laws of the area where the land is located.Unauthorized and unlawful intrusion upon.The right of ownership and possession of the ICCs/IPs. d. and h. or any violation of the rights herein before enumerated.ICCs/IPs occupying a duly certified ancestral domain shall have the following responsibilities: a. Section 9.To observe and comply with the provisions of this Act and the rules and regulations for its effective implementation. Where relocation is considered necessary as an exceptional measure. . the Government shall take measures to prevent non-ICCs/IPs from taking advantage of the ICCs/IPs customs or lack of understanding of laws to secure ownership. . Right to Resolve Conflict. a. and maintain a balanced ecology in the ancestral domain by protecting the flora and fauna. That should their ancestral domain cease to exist and normalcy and safety of the previous settlements are not possible. and only in default thereof shall the complaints be submitted to amicable settlement and to the Courts of Justice whenever necessary. Unauthorized and Unlawful Intrusion . When such return is not possible. Observe Laws. as soon as the grounds for relocation cease to exist. undertake and participate in the reforestation of denuded areas and other development programs and projects subject to just and reasonable remuneration. . Right in Case of Displacement.means other than eminent domain. the ICCs/IPs shall have access to integrated systems for the management of their inland waters and air space. Right to Safe and Clean Air and Water. to their ancestral lands shall be recognized and protected. Right to transfer land/property. Right to Regulate Entry of Migrants . g. f. . Responsibilities of ICCs/IPs to their Ancestral Domains.Such right shall include the right to transfer land or property rights to/among members of the same ICCs/IPs. .

social and cultural development. and tree farming purposes.The ICCs/IPs shall have the right to use their own commonly accepted justice systems. plans and programs for national.The State shall recognize and respect the role of independent ICCs/IPs organizations to enable the ICCs/IPs to pursue and protect their legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means. . shall be embodied in a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT).implementation and evaluation of policies. Right to Participate in Decision -Making . as amended. Conflict Resolution Institutions and Peace Building Processes . which shall recognize the title of the concerned ICCs/IPs over the territories identified and delineated. . Recognition of Ancestral Domain Rights. For this purpose. Right to Determine and Decide Priorities for Development . as amended. . have been in continuous possession and occupation of the same in the concept of owner since the immemorial or for a period of not less than thirty (30) years immediately preceding the approval of this Act and uncontested by the members of the same ICCs/IPs shall have the option to secure title to their ancestral lands under the provisions of Commonwealth Act 141. . beliefs. at all levels of decision-making in matters which may affect their rights. Consequently. Option to Secure Certificate of Title under Commonwealth Act 141. . the State shall guarantee the right of ICCs/IPs to freely pursue their economic. are hereby classified as alienable and disposable agricultural lands. provinces or cities where they do not constitute the majority of the population. and the lands they own. where necessary. with respect to individually-owned ancestral lands who. Self-Governance. Section 20. when solicited by ICCs/IPs concerned.The ICCs/IPs living in contiguous areas or communities where they form the predominant population but which are located in municipalities. Formal recognition. if they so choose. Section 19. . Section 14.Individual members of cultural communities. including those with a slope of eighteen percent (18%) or more. Section 16. . practices and institutions. by themselves or through their predecessors-in -interest. . Tribal Barangays.Section 11.The State recognizes the inherent right of ICCs/IPs to self-governance and self-determination and respects the integrity of their values. Section 15.The State shall continue to strengthen and support the autonomous regions created under the Constitution as they may require or need. Role of Peoples Organizations. institutions. Consequently. peace building processes or mechanisms and other customary laws and practices within their respective communities and as may be compatible with the national legal system and with internationally recognized human rights. spiritual well-being.The ICCs/IPs shall have the right to determine and decide their own priorities for development affecting their lives.The Government shall establish the means for the full development/empowerment of the ICCs/IPs own institutions and initiatives and. The option granted under this Section shall be exercised within twenty (20) years from the approval of this Act.The rights of ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains by virtue of Native Title shall be recognized and respected. regional and local development which may directly affect them. CHAPTER IV RIGHT TO SELF-GOVERNANCE AND EMPOWERMENT Section 13. Support for Autonomous Regions.ICCs/IPs have the right to participate fully. lives and destinies through procedures determined by them as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous political structures. provide the resources needed therefor. conflict resolution institutions. Section 18. . which are agricultural in character and actually used for agricultural. They shall participate in the formulation. . Justice System. occupy or use. may form or constitute a separate barangay in accordance with the Local Government Code on the creation of tribal barangays. Means for Development /Empowerment of ICCs/IPs. pasture. Section 17. . residential. Section 12. or the Land Registration Act 496. The State shall likewise encourage other ICCs/IPs not included or outside Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera to use the form and content of their ways of life as may be compatible with the fundamental rights defined in the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and other internationally recognized human rights. or the Land Registration Act 496. said individually-owned ancestral lands. the State shall ensure that the ICCs/IPs shall be given mandatory representation in policy-making bodies and other local legislative councils.

and shall not recruit members of the ICCs/IPs against their will into armed forces. and equal treatment in employment for men and women. vocational training and retraining. with respect to recruitment and conditions of employment. Freedom from Discrimination and Right to Equal Opportunity and Treatment . the State shall. not subject to any coercive recruitment systems. for the protection of civilian populations in circumstances of emergency and armed conflict. as regards the social. the State shall likewise ensure that the employment of any form of force of coersion against ICCs/IPs shall be dealt with by law. political and cultural spheres of life. not recruit children of ICCs/IPs into the armed forces under any circumstance. nor force indigenous individuals to abandon their lands.ICC/IP women shall enjoy equal rights and opportunities with men. They shall likewise have the right not to be subject to working conditions hazardous to their health. such that they may enjoy equal opportunities as other occupationally-related benefits. sanitation. Rights during Armed Conflict. Basic Services.It shall be unlawful for any person: a. protections and privileges enjoyed by the rest of the citizenry. informed of their rights under existing labor legislation and of means available to them for redress. territories and means of subsistence. economic. including in the areas of employment. housing. the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.Consistent with the equal protection clause of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. . To discriminate against any ICC/IP with respect to the terms and conditions of employment on account of their descent. opportunities. Towards this end.CHAPTER V SOCIAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS Section 21.The ICC/IP have the right to special measures for the immediate. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and International Human Rights Law. the State shall within the framework of national laws and regulations. Equal Protection and Non-discrimination of ICCs/IPs.ICCs/IPs have the right to special protection and security in periods of armed conflict. youth. and in particular. no provision in this Act shall be interpreted so as to result in the diminution of rights and privileges already recognized and accorded to women under existing laws of general application. adopt special measures to ensure the effective protection with regard to the recruitment and conditions of employment of persons belonging to these communities. Section 24. in particular. It shall extend to them the same employment rights. health and social security. to the extent that they are not effectively protected by the laws applicable to workers in general. Women. To deny any ICC/IP employee any right or benefit herein provided for or to discharge them for the purpose of preventing them from enjoying any of the rights or benefits provided under this Act. Section 23. Section 26. Accordingly. Accordingly. . for the use against other ICCs/IPs. including the protection from sexual harassment. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous women.It shall be the right of the ICCs/IPs to be free from any form of discrimination. with due recognition of their distinct characteristics and identity. The participation of indigenous women in the . The State shall ensure that the fundamental human rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution and relevant international instruments are guaranteed also to indigenous women. or relocate them in special centers for military purposes under any discriminatory condition. elderly. Towards this end. accord to the members of the ICCs/IPs the rights. the Charter of the United Nations. and b. children and differently-abled persons. education. the State shall guarantee the right of ICCs/IPs to government 's basic services which shall include. but not limited to water and electrical facilities. . . Section 25. . and in cooperation with the ICCs/IPs concerned. educational and other rights and privileges available to every member of the society. particularly through exposure to pesticides and other toxic substances. . Unlawful Acts Pertaining to Employment . The State shall observe international standards. Section 22. effective and continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. ICCs/IPs shall have the right to association and freedom for all trade union activities and the right to conclude collective bargaining agreements with employers' conditions. including bonded labor and other forms of debt servitude. basic services. health and infrastructure. Equal remuneration shall be paid to ICC/IP and non-ICC/IP for work of equal value.

Integrated System of Education . the Government shall take effective measures to ensure that Stateowned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. spiritual. . public information and cultural-educational exchange. the State shall take effective measures. the State shall ensure that indigenous women have access to all services in their own languages. Indigenous children/youth shall have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State. protect and have access to their religious and cultural sites. traditions and institutions. Section 32. the State shall take effective measures. The State shall likewise ensure the participation of appropriate indigenous leaders in schools. spiritual. CHAPTER VI CULTURAL INTEGRITY Section 29.The State shall. histories and aspirations of the ICCs/IPs appropriately reflected in all forms of education. communities and international cooperative undertakings like festivals. It shall consider these rights in the formulation of national plans and policies. Cultural Sites and Ceremonies . conferences. and housing services to indigenous women. the right to maintain. health and nutrition. excavate or make diggings on archeological sites of the ICCs/IPs for the purpose of obtaining materials of cultural values without the free and prior informed consent of the community concerned.The State shall endeavor to have the dignity and diversity of the cultures. in cooperation with the burial sites. the right to use and control of ceremonial object. remove or otherwise destroy artifacts which are of great importance to the ICCs/IPs for the preservation of their cultural heritage. . Recognition of Cultural Diversity. professional and other forms of training shall be provided to enable these women to fully participate in all aspects of social life. through the NCIP. Accordingly.The state shall respect. As far as possible. The State shall provide full access to education. shall be given due respect and recognition. understanding and good relations among ICCs/IPs and all segments of society. Towards this end. Protection of Indigenous Culture. Community Intellectual Rights. recognize and protect the right of the ICCs/IPs to preserve and protect their culture. practice. and the right to the repatriation of human remains. Furthermore. customs and ceremonies. present and future manifestations of their cultures as well as the right to the restitution of cultural. traditions and institutions . Section 27. intellectual. Section 31. and spiritual property taken without their free and prior informed consent or in violation of their laws. provide a complete. Rights to Religious. . scholarships. grants and other incentives without prejudice to their right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions by providing education in their own language. Educational Systems. be preserved. . . technical. To achieve this purpose. it shall be unlawful to: a. in consultation with ICCs/IPs concerned. Explore. adequate and integrated system of education. moral. protect and develop the past. intellectual and social well-being.ICCs/IPs shall have the right to manifest. Vocational. maternal and child care. Section 28. in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning. Consequently. relevant to the needs of the children and Young people of ICCs/IPs. The State shall preserve. Section 30. seminars and workshops to promote and enhance their distinctive heritage and values. . and b. to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to promote tolerance. moral.ICCs/IPs have the right to practice and revitalize their own cultural traditions and customs. religious. traditions and customs.The State shall recognize the vital role of the children and youth of ICCs/IPs in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical. the State shall support all government programs intended for the development and rearing of the children and youth of ICCs/IPs for civic efficiency and establish such mechanisms as may be necessary for the protection of the rights of the indigenous children and youth.decision-making process in all levels. traditions. Children and Youth. public or cultural entities. as well as in the development of society. . Deface.The State shall provide equal access to various cultural opportunities to the ICCs/IPs through the educational system. develop teach their spiritual and religious traditions. . Section 33. respected and protected.

Southern and Eastern Mindanao. Section 42. designs. literature. plans and programs to promote and protect the rights and well-being of the ICCs/IPs and the recognition of their ancestral domains as well as their rights thereto. Composition. at least 35 years of age at the time of appointment.Section 34. one (1) of whom shall be the Chairperson. That the members of the NCIP shall hold office for a period of three (3) years. Section 39. . Island Groups including Mindoro. Tenure.The ICCs/IPs shall have the right to receive from the national government all funds especially earmarked or allocated for the management and preservation of their archeological and historical sites and artifacts with the financial and technical support of the national government agencies. vital medicinal plants. Right to Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices and to Develop own Sciences and Technologies. the rest of Luzon.The NCIP shall protect and promote the interest and well-being of the ICCs/IPs with due regard to their beliefs. Funds for Archeological and Historical Sites. experienced in ethnic affairs and who have worked for at least ten (10) years with an ICC/IP community and/or any government agency involved in ICC/IP. National Commission on Indigenous Cultural Communities /Indigenous Peoples (NCCP). Northern and Western Mindanao. . and Central Mindanao: Provided. Appointment to any vacancy shall only be for the unexpired term of the predecessor and in no case shall a member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity: Provided. technologies and cultural manifestations. customs. Mandate. Romblon. before the expiration of his term for cause and after complying with due process requirement of law. develop and protect their sciences. shall be allowed within ancestral lands and domains of the ICCs/IPs only with a free and prior informed consent of such communities.The State shall recognize the right of ICCs/IPs to a sustainable agro-technological development and shall formulate and implement programs of action for its effective implementation. obtained in accordance with customary laws of the concerned community. and may be subject to re-appointment for another term: Provided. Region II. That the seven (7) Commissioners shall be appointed specifically from each of the following ethnographic areas: Region I and the Cordilleras. Palawan. Access to Biological and Genetic Resources. Section 40. finally. That at least two (2) of the seven (7) Commissioners shall be the members of the Philippine Bar: Provided. knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora. and must be of proven honesty and integrity: Provided.The NCIP shall be an independent agency under the Office of the President and shall be composed of seven (7) Commissioners belonging to ICCs/IPs. including derivatives of these resources.The Chairperson and the six (6) Commissioners must be natural born Filipino citizens. on his own initiative or upon recommendation by any indigenous community. indigenous knowledge systems and practices. . That at least two (2) of the seven (7) Commissioners shall be women. seeds. animals and minerals. . and visual and performing arts. Sustainable Agro-Technical Development . Section 37. They shall have the right to special measures to control. further. Removal from Office. . . traditional medicines and health practices. traditions and institutions. . including human and other genetic resources. Panay and the rest of the Visayas. That no person shall serve for more than two (2) terms. there shall be created the National Commission on ICCs/IPs (NCIP). oral traditions. Qualifications. Compensation . . bonafide members of ICCs/IPs as certified by his/her tribe.ICCs/IPs are entitled to the recognition of the full ownership and control and protection of their cultural and intellectual rights. utilization and enhancement of these resources.Access to biological and genetic resources and to indigenous knowledge related to the conservation. Section 35. furthermore. The State shall likewise promote the bio-genetic and resource management systems among the ICCs/IPs and shall encourage cooperation among government agencies to ensure the successful sustainable development of ICCs/IPs. . Section 41. CHAPTER VII NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (NCIP) Section 38. The Commissioners shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines from a list of recommendees submitted by authentic ICCs/IPs: Provided. That the Chairperson and the Commissioners shall be entitled to compensation in accordance with the Salary Standardization Law. Section 36.to carry out the policies herein set forth. .Any member of the NCIP may be removed from office by the President. which shall be the primary government agency responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies.

assess as well as propose policies or plans. p) To exercise such other powers and functions as may be directed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. m) To issue appropriate certification as a pre-condition to the grant of permit. k) To submit to Congress appropriate legislative proposals intended to carry out the policies under this Act. Officers within the NCIP. c) To formulate and implement policies. to obtain loans from government lending institutions and other lending institutions to finance its programs. i) To convene periodic conventions or assemblies of IPs to review. utilization. n) To decide all appeals from the decisions and acts of all the various offices within the Commission: o) To promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of this Act. lease. transactions or decisions. jurisdiction and function: a) To serve as the primary government agency through which ICCs/IPs can seek government assistance and as the medium.Subject to such limitations as may be provided by law or by rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. . l) To prepare and submit the appropriate budget to the Office of the President. with government or private agencies or entities as may be necessary to attain the objectives of this Act. f) Subject to existing laws. corporate entity or any government agency. for the benefit of ICCs/IPs and administer the same in accordance with the terms thereof. b) To review and assess the conditions of ICCs/IPs including existing laws and policies pertinent thereto and to propose relevant laws and policies to address their role in national development. and q) To represent the Philippine ICCs/IPs in all international conferences and conventions dealing with indigenous peoples and other related concerns. local and international. documents and papers pertaining to official acts. gifts and/or properties in whatever form and from whatever source. or any other similar authority for the disposition. all official records. plans. .The President shall appoint the seven (7) Commissioners of the NCIP within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act. a report of its operations and achievements. and subject to the approval of the President. g) To negotiate for funds and to accept grants. subject to the approval of the President of the Philippines. to enter into contracts. donations. d) To request and engage the services and support of experts from other agencies of government or employ private experts and consultants as may be required in the pursuit of its objectives. Accessibility and Transparency. grant. the NCIP shall have the following powers. Section 45. corporation or subdivision thereof on any part or portion of the ancestral domain taking into consideration the consensus approval of the ICCs/IPs concerned. Section 46. . management and appropriation by any private individual. h) To coordinate development programs and projects for the advancement of the ICCs/IPs and to oversee the proper implementation thereof. programs and projects for the economic. Appointment of Commissioners. j) To advise the President of the Philippines on all matters relating to the ICCs/IPs and to submit within sixty (60) days after the close of each calendar year. or arrangement.Section 43. Section 44. Powers and Functions. . social and cultural development of the ICCs/IPs and to monitor the implementation thereof. as well as research data used as basis for policy development of the Commission shall be made accessible to the public.To accomplish its mandate. e) To issue certificate of ancestral land/domain title.The NCIP shall have the following offices which shall be responsible for the implementation of the policies herein after provided: . or in the absence of any condition. in such manner consistent with the interest of ICCs/IPs as well as existing laws. agreements. thorough which such assistance may be extended.

Administrative Office . plans and programs affecting the ICCs/IPs to ensure that the same are properly and directly enjoyed by them. Culture and Health . lease or permit for the exploitation of natural resources affecting the interests of ICCs/IPs in protecting the territorial integrity of all ancestral domains. d. Towards this end. e. Culture and Sports and the Commission on Higher Education. for the benefit of the local indigenous community. Office on Policy.The Office on Policy. It shall also administer the Ancestral Domains Fund. to participate in all level decision-making. supplies. both formal and non-formal. promote and support community schools.The Administrative Office shall provide the NCIP with economical. evaluation and policy formulation. and such other rights as the NCIP may determine. It shall assist the legislative branch of the national government in the formulation of appropriate legislation benefiting ICCs/IPs. Office of Empowerment and Human Rights . cultural and economic rights are respected and recognized. It shall also monitor the activities of the National Museum and other similar government agencies generally intended to manage and preserve historical and archeological artifacts of the ICCs /IPs and shall be responsible for the implementation of such other functions as the NCIP may deem appropriate and necessary. It shall also be responsible for such other functions as the NCIP may deem appropriate and necessary. security. The Office shall also undertake the documentation of customary law and shall establish and maintain a Research Center that would serve as a depository of ethnographic information for monitoring. efficient and effective services pertaining to personnel. rules and regulations are protected and promoted. subject to existing laws. b. It shall ensure that capacity building mechanisms are instituted and ICCs/IPs are afforded every opportunity. It shall also identify ICCs/IPs with potential training in the health profession and encourage and assist them to enroll in schools of medicine. and g. Planning and Research shall be responsible for the formulation of appropriate policies and programs for ICCs/IPs such as. certification prior to the grant of any license. a special program which includes language and vocational training. It shall also issue. and related services. Legal Affairs Office . public health and family assistance program and related subjects. especially in areas where existing educational facilities are not accessible to members of the indigenous group. It shall undertake. nursing.The Ancestral Domain Office shall be responsible for the identification. physical therapy and other allied courses pertaining to the health profession. Planning and Research . It shall likewise ensure that the basic human rights. Ancestral Domains Office . but not limited to.There shall be a Legal Affairs Office which shall advice the NCIP on all legal matters concerning ICCs/IPs and which shall be responsible for providing ICCs/IPs with legal assistance in litigation involving community interest. It shall assist. the Commission shall endeavor to assess the plan and make ramifications in accordance with the changing situations. upon the free and prior informed consent of the ICCs/IPs concerned. Such plan shall undergo a process such that every five years. delineation and recognition of ancestral land/domains.The Office of Empowerment and Human Rights shall ensure that indigenous socio. policies. within the limits of available appropriation.The Office on Culture.a. the development of a Five-Year Master Plan for the ICCs/IPs. Office on Socio-Economic Services and Special Concerns .political.The Office on Socio-Economic Services and Special Concerns shall serve as the Office through which the NCIP shall coordinate with pertinent government agencies specially charged with the implementation of various basic socio-economic services. Education and Health shall be responsible for the effective implementation of the education. Office of Education. cultural and related rights as provided in this Act. c. It shall likewise perform such other functions as the Commission may deem appropriate and necessary. f. the NCIP shall deploy a representative in each of the said offices who shall personally perform the foregoing task and who shall receive complaints from the ICCs/IPs and compel action from appropriate agency. It shall conduct preliminary . finance. records. if they so choose. It shall administer all scholarship programs and other educational rights intended for ICC/IP beneficiaries in coordination with the Department of Education. equipment. It shall also be responsible for the management of ancestral lands/domains in accordance with the master plans as well as the implementation of the ancestral domain rights of the ICCs/IPs as provided in Chapter III of this Act.

c. nor to ancestral lands and domains delineated under any other community/ancestral domain program prior to the enactment of his law. if any. Regional and Field Offices. The Sworn Statement of the Elders as to the Scope of the territories and agreements/pacts made with neighboring ICCs/IPs. or through a Petition for Delineation filed with the NCIP. Delineation and Recognition of Ancestral Domains. Section 52. Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs political structure and institution. shall be immediately undertaken by the Ancestral Domains Office upon filing of the application by the ICCs/IPs concerned. elders and representatives from the women and youth sectors of the different ICCs/IPs shall be constituted by the NCIP from the time to time to advise it on matters relating to the problems. As such. will be essential to the determination of these traditional territories. b. but to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional activities. Delineation Paper .A body consisting of the traditional leaders. That in provinces where there are ICCs/IPs but without field offices. aspirations and interests of the ICCs/IPs. d.The identification and delineation of ancestral domains shall be done in accordance with the following procedures: a. series of 1993. On the basis of its findings. Other field office shall be created wherever appropriate and the staffing pattern thereof shall be determined by the NCIP: Provided.investigation on the basis of complaints filed by the ICCs/IPs against a natural or juridical person believed to have violated ICCs/IPs rights. . Section 48.Proof of Ancestral Domain Claims shall include the testimony of elders or community under oath. Proof required .The NCIP shall create the Office of the Executive Director which shall serve as its secretariat. ICCs/IPs enactment of this law shall have the right to apply for the issuance of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) over the area without going through the process outlined hereunder. . Consultative Body. Office of the Executive Director . .Self-delineation shall be guiding principle in the identification and delineation of ancestral domains. 2. CHAPTER VIII DELINEATION AND RECOGNITION OF ANCESTRAL DOMAINS Section 51.Existing regional and field offices shall remain to function under the strengthened organizational structure of the NCIP.The provisions hereunder shall not apply to ancestral domains/lands already delineated according to DENR Administrative Order No. particularly of ICCs/IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting cultivators.The NCIP shall have the power to create additional offices as it may deem necessary subject to existing rules and regulations. and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the area since time immemorial by such ICCs/IPs in the concept of owners which shall be any one (1) of the following authentic documents: 1. Written accounts of the ICCs/IPs customs and traditions.The official delineation of ancestral domain boundaries including census of all community members therein. Delineation Process. the ICCs/IPs concerned shall have a decisive role in all the activities pertinent thereto. Ancestral Domains Delineated Prior to this Act . Delineation will be done in coordination with the community concerned and shall at all times include genuine involvement and participation by the members of the communities concerned. The office shall be headed by an Executive Director who shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines upon the recommendation of the NCIP on a permanent basis. The staffing pattern of the office shall be determined by the NCIP subject to existing rules and regulations.The process of delineating a specific perimeter may be initiated by the NCIP with the consent of the ICC/IP concerned. . Petition for Delineation . . The Government shall take the necessary steps to identify lands which the ICCs/IPs concerned traditionally occupy and guarantee effective protection of their rights of ownership and possession thereto. Section 47. Other Offices. 2. by a majority of the members of the ICCs/IPs. the NCIP shall establish field offices in said provinces. Section 50. . . Section 49. it shall initiate the filing of appropriate legal or administrative action to the NCIP. Measures shall be taken in appropriate cases to safeguard the rights of the ICCs/IPs concerned to land which may no longer be exclusively occupied by them.

Notice and Publication . the Ancestral Domains Office shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict. including pacts and agreements concerning boundaries entered into by the ICCs/IPs concerned with other ICCs/IPs. Survey plans and sketch maps. Turnover of Areas Within Ancestral Domains Managed by Other Government Agencies . 8. That the Ancestral Domains Office shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification: Provided. terraces and the like. e. Endorsement to NCIP . containing a list of all those identified in the census. However. if the proof is deemed insufficient. Anthropological data. j. That in cases where there are conflicting claims. f. That in areas where no such newspaper exists. Historical accounts. Such notification shall terminate any legal basis for the jurisdiction previously claimed. 7.A complete copy of the preliminary census and a report of investigation. a.Within fifteen (15) days from publication. Department of the Interior and Local Government. copy furnished all concerned. The secretaries of the Department of Agrarian Reform. burial grounds. 6. 4. Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional communal forests and hunting grounds.On the basis of such investigation and the findings of fact based thereon. Pictures and descriptive histories of traditional landmarks such as mountains. ridges. i. and k. h. the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP shall prepare a perimeter map. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. broadcasting in a radio station will be a valid substitute: Provided. Report of Investigation and Other Documents . creeks. further. 9. and 10.ICCs/IPs whose ancestral domains have been officially delineated and determined by the NCIP shall be issued a CADT in the name of the community concerned. The denial shall be appealable to the NCIP: Provided. 5. and of the inspection process. hills. and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within fifteen (15) days from the date of such publication: Provided.The NCIP shall register issued certificates of ancestral domain titles and certificates of ancestral lands titles before the Register of Deeds in the place where the property is situated. Pictures showing long term occupation such as those of old improvements. rivers. . furthermore. and a description of the natural features and landmarks embraced therein.3. That mere posting shall be deemed sufficient if both newspaper and radio station are not available.A copy of each document. The allocation of lands within any ancestral domain to individual or indigenous corporate (family or clan) claimants shall be left to the ICCs/IPs concerned to decide in accordance with customs and traditions. provincial and regional offices of the NCIP. A copy of the document shall also be posted at the local. complete with technical descriptions. sacred places and old villages. the Commissioner of the National Development Corporation. further. Delineation and Certification of Ancestral Lands . That in case of rejection. containing the grounds for denial. the Ancestral Domains Office shall require the submission of additional evidence: Provided. Issuance of CADT . Registration of CADTs . without prejudice to its full adjudication according to the selection below. Identification. including a translation in the native language of the ICCs/IPs concerned shall be posted in a prominent place therein for at least fifteen (15) days. Genealogical surveys. Section 53. the Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare a report to the NCIP endorsing a favorable action upon a claim that is deemed to have sufficient proof. g.The Chairperson of the NCIP shall certify that the area covered is an ancestral domain. and any other government agency claiming jurisdiction over the area shall be notified thereof. Write-ups of names and places derived from the native dialect of the community. shall be prepared by the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP. and Department of Justice. the Ancestral Domains Office shall give the applicant due notice. Preparation of Maps .

An individual or recognized head of a family or clan may file such application in his behalf or in behalf of his family or clan. c. finally. pursuant to its own decision making process. upon written request from the ICCs/IPs. That mere posting shall be deemed sufficient if both newspapers and radio station are not available f. the Ancestral domains Office shall cause the contending parties to meet and assist them in coming up with a preliminary resolution of the conflict. the Director of Lands shall represent the interest of the Republic of the Philippines. . further. shall be recognized and respected. Any claim found to be fraudulently acquired by. Individual and indigenous corporate claimants of ancestral lands which are not within ancestral domains. Upon receipt of the applications for delineation and recognition of ancestral land claims. Section 54. and issued to. shall be presumed to be communally held: Provide. copy furnished all concerned. which in its opinion. the Ancestral Domains Office shall cause the publication of the application and a copy of each document submitted including a translation in the native language of the ICCs/IPs concerned in a prominent place therein for at least fifteen (15) days. otherwise known as the New Civil Code. the Ancestral Domains office shall give the applicant due notice. Section 56. . Proofs of such claims shall accompany the application form which shall include the testimony under oath of elders of the community and other documents directly or indirectly attesting to the possession or occupation of the areas since time immemorial by the individual or corporate claimants in the concept of owners which shall be any of the authentic documents enumerated under Sec.Property rights within the ancestral domains already existing and/or vested upon effectivity of this Act. evaluate or corporate (family or clan) claimant over ancestral lands. The Ancestral Domains Office may require from each ancestral claimant the submission of such other documents. Fraudulent Claims. A copy of the document shall also be posted at the local. and if found to be meritorious. which shall. may have their claims officially established by filing applications for the identification and delineation of their claims with the Ancestral Domains Office. in turn. In case of conflicting claims among individual or indigenous corporate claimants. Section 57. provincial. the Ancestral Domains Office shall investigate and inspect each application.Subject to Section 56 hereof. Fifteen (15) days after such publication. respectively. may shed light on the veracity of the contents of the application/claim. broadcasting in a radio station will be a valid substitute: Provided. areas within the ancestral domains. 52 (d) of this act. That a formal and written agreement is entered into with the ICCs/IPs concerned or that the community. without prejudice to its full adjudication according to Sec.b. including tax declarations and proofs of payment of taxes. 62 of this Act. e. Existing Property Rights Regimes. has agreed to allow such operation: Provided. . That the all extractions shall be used to facilitate the development and improvement of the ancestral domains. That in areas where no such newspaper exists. . any person or community may be cancelled by the NCIP after due notice and hearing of all parties concerned. Sworn Statements and the like. That communal rights under this Act shall not be construed as co-ownership as provided in Republic Act. development or exploitation of any natural resources within the ancestral domains.The ICCs/IPs shall have the priority rights in the harvesting.The Ancestral Domains Office may. No. review existing claims which have been fraudulently acquired by any person or community. In case of rejection. whether delineated or not. In all proceedings for the identification or delineation of the ancestral domains as herein provided. Section 55. The denial shall be appealable to the NCIP. 386. d. shall cause a parcellary survey of the area being claimed. extraction. The Ancestral Domains office shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification. Natural Resources within Ancestral Domains. containing the grounds for denial. and g. A non-member of the ICCs/IPs concerned may be allowed to take part in the development and utilization of the natural resources for a period of not exceeding twenty-five (25) years renewable for not more than twenty-five (25) years: Provided. and regional offices of the NCIP and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within fifteen (15) days from the date of such publication: Provided. The Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare and submit a report on each and every application surveyed and delineated to the NCIP. . Communal Rights.

Section 61. lease.Prior to the establishment of an institutional surveying capacity whereby it can effectively fulfill its mandate. through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Such certificate shall only be issued after a fieldbased investigation is conducted by the Ancestral Domain Office of the area concerned: Provided. the NCIP is hereby authorized to request the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) survey teams as well as other equally capable private survey teams. to delineate ancestral domain perimeters. Section 63. Section 59. That if the dispute is between and/or among ICCs/IPs regarding the traditional boundaries of their respective ancestral domains. Section 60. The DENR Secretary shall accommodate any such request within one (1) month of its issuance: Provided. That no certificate shall be issued by the NCIP without the free and prior informed and written consent of the ICCs/IPs concerned: Provided. That the Memorandum of Agreement shall stipulate. the NCIP shall hear and decide. That the ICCs/IPs shall have the right to stop or suspend. . license or lease. specially levies.all department and other governmental agencies shall henceforth be strictly enjoined from issuing. That no ICCs/IPs shall be displaced or relocated for the purpose enumerated under this section without the written consent of the specific persons authorized to give consent. That such procedure shall ensure that the rights of possessors in good faith shall be respected: Provided. or entering into any production-sharing agreement. mangroves wildlife sanctuaries. award or ruling of the NCIP on any ancestral domain dispute or on any matter pertaining to the application. protected areas. Section 64. license. That the action for cancellation shall be initiated within two (2) years from the effectivity of this Act: . forest cover. further. claims and ownerships. Applicable Laws.All lands certified to be ancestral domains shall be exempt from real property taxes. Section 62. order. wilderness. or production sharing agreement while there is pending application CADT: Provided. That no department.Expropriation may be resorted to in the resolution of conflicts of interest following the principle of the "common good". . without prior certification from the NCIP that the area affected does not overlap with any ancestral domain.Ancestral domains or portion thereof. . protect and conserve such areas with the full and effective assistance of the government agencies. Resolution of Conflicts. The ICCs/IPs concerned shall be given the responsibility to maintain.Section 58. where there are adverse claims within the ancestral domains as delineated in the survey plan. Environmental Consideration . . Temporary Requisition Powers. That the transfer shall be temporary and will ultimately revert to the ICCs/IPs in accordance with a program for technology transfer: Provided. among others. the disputes arising from the delineation of such ancestral domains: Provided. but in no case beyond three (3) years after its creation. develop. renewing. Certification Precondition. Exemption from Taxes. commercial forest plantation and residential purposes and upon titling by other by private person: Provided. in accordance with this Act. further. hereditary succession and settlement of land disputes. Remedial Measures. government agency or government-owned or -controlled corporation may issue new concession. Should the ICCs/IPs decide to transfer the responsibility over the areas. that all exactions shall be used to facilitate the development and improvement of the ancestral domains. . implementation. any project that has not satisfied the requirement of this consultation process. managed and developed for such purposes. further. traditions and practices of the ICCs/IPs of the land where the conflict arises shall be applied first with respect to property rights.Customary laws. The consent of the ICCs/IPs should be arrived at in accordance with its customary laws without prejudice to the basic requirement of the existing laws on free and prior informed consent: Provided. and which cannot be resolved. . which are found necessary for critical watersheds.In cases of conflicting interest. a provision for technology transfer to the NCIP. or reforestation as determined by the appropriate agencies with the full participation of the ICCs/IPs concerned shall be maintained. customary process shall be followed. Any doubt or ambiguity in the application of laws shall be resolved in favor of the ICCs/IPs. The NCIP shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to carry out its adjudicatory functions: Provided. after notice to the proper parties. said decision must be made in writing. or granting any concession. enforcement and interpretation of this Act may be brought for Petition for Review to the Court of Appeals within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof. The NCIP shall take appropriate legal action for the cancellation of officially documented titles which were acquired illegally: Provided. further. and other forms of exaction except such portion of the ancestral domains as are actually used for large-scale agriculture. finally. . That in any decision.

authorized and/or unlawful intrusion upon any . the fund of the Social Reform Council intended for survey and delineation of ancestral lands/domains. . . . To enjoin any or all acts involving or arising from any case pending therefore it which. Punishable Acts and Applicable Penalties. Section 67.Decisions of the NCIP shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals by way of a petition for review. issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses or the production of such books. charges or fees imposed by the government or any political subdivision or instrumentality thereof. To hold any person in contempt. records. An amount of Fifty million pesos (P50. directly or indirectly. orders or awards of the Regional Hearing Officer of the NCIP. CHAPTER X ANCESTRAL DOMAINS FUND Section 71. For this purpose. To administer oaths. Orders. and impose appropriate penalties therefor.There is hereby created a special fund. may cause grave or irreparable damage to any of the parties to the case or seriously affect social or economic activity. an initial amount of the One Hundred thirty million pesos(P130. c. Jurisdiction of the NCIP. Execution of Decisions. No restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction . Awards. That no such dispute shall be brought to the NCIP unless the parties have exhausted all remedies provided under their customary laws. That the action for reconveyance shall be a period of ten (10) years in accordance with existing laws.000. dispute or controversy to. through its regional offices. if not restrained forthwith. CHAPTER XI PENALTIES Section 72. or interpretation of this Act and other pertinent laws relating to ICCs/IPs and ancestral domains.The NCIP. which certification shall be a condition precedent to the filing of a petition with the NCIP.Upon expiration of the period here provided and no appeal is perfected by any of the contending parties. Section 70. Appeals to the Court of Appeals. . papers. contracts. b. such as. To promulgate rules and regulations governing the hearing and disposition of cases filed before it as well as those pertaining to its internal functions and such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. . Ten millions pesos (P10.The NCIP shall have the power and authority: a. but not limited to. however. . shall issue a writ of execution requiring the sheriff or the proper officer to execute final decisions. agreements and other document of similar nature as may be material to a just determination of the matter under investigation or hearing conducted in pursuance of this Act. summon the parties to a controversy. The NCIP may also solicit and receive donations.000) shall be sourced from the gross income of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from its lotto operation. Section 68. to be known as the Ancestral Domains Fund. customary laws and practices shall be used to resolve the dispute.Any person who commits violation of any of the provisions of this Act. . a certification shall be issued by the Council of Elders/Leaders who participated in the attempt to settle the dispute that the same has not been resolved. Primary of Customary Laws and Practices. and d. endowments shall be exempted from income or gift taxes and all other taxes. Thereafter such amount shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.000) from the gross receipts of the travel tax of the preceding year. delineation and development of ancestral domains.000. Ancestral Domains Fund.000.000) to cover compensation for expropriated lands. finally.No inferior court of the Philippines shall have the jurisdiction to issue any restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction against the NCIP or any of its duly authorized or designated offices in any case. shall have jurisdiction over all claims and disputes involving rights of ICCs/IPs.When disputes involve ICCs/IPs. Section 66. . CHAPTER IX JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURES FOR ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS Section 65. Provided. on its own initiative or upon motion by the prevailing party. and such other source as the government may be deem appropriate.Provided. Section 69. the Hearing Officer of the NCIP. Quasi-Judicial Powers of the NCIP. Foreign as well as local funds which are made available for the ICCs/IPs through the government of the Philippines shall be coursed through the NCIP.

modified or amended by the NCIP. subject to the qualifications set by the Placement Committee: Provided. Section 75. . That if the offender is a public official.000) nor more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500. created under Executive Order Nos. in addition to the cancellation of certificates of their registration and/or license: Provided. Section 73. in coordination with the Civil Service Commission. Chapter III. Chapter VI hereof. All agreements and contracts entered into by the merged offices shall remain in full force and effect unless otherwise terminated. Chapter V. upon conviction.The ONCC/OSCC shall have a period of six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act within which to wind up its affairs and to conduct audit of its finances. Transfer of Assets/Properties. manager. That all contracts. .Subject to rules on government reorganization.All real and personal properties which are vested in. Placement Committee. Merger of ONCC/OSCC. That no such penalty shall be cruel. If they are already entitled to retirement benefits or the gratuity herein provided.If the offender is a juridical person. further. This provision shall be without prejudice to the right of any ICCs/IPs to avail of the protection of existing laws. the penalty shall include perpetual disqualification to hold public office. a Placement Committee shall be created by the NCIP. be punished by imprisonment of not less than nine (9) months but not more than twelve (12) years or a fine not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100. or head of office responsible for their unlawful act shall be criminally liable therefor. 122-B and 122-C respectively. are hereby phased-out upon the effectivity of this Act: Provided. degrading or inhuman punishment: Provided. or shall commit any of the prohibited acts mentioned in Sections 21 and 24.The Office for Northern Cultural Communities (ONCC) and the Office of Southern Cultural Communities (OSCC). but not limited to. Persons Subject to Punishment. its president.ancestral lands or domains as stated in Sec. records and documents shall be transferred to the NCIP. Section 76. which shall assist in the judicious selection and placement of personnel in order that the best qualified and most deserving persons shall be appointed in the reorganized agency. all officers such as. nongovernment organizations (NGOs) who have served the community for at least five (5) years and peoples organizations (POs) with at least five (5) years of existence. 10. They shall be guided by the criteria of retention and appointment to be prepared by the consultative body and by the pertinent provisions of the civil service law. In which case. That neither shall the death penalty or excessive fines be imposed. . That in the case where an indigenous person and a non-indigenous person with similar qualifications apply for the same position. Transition Period. CHAPTER XII MERGER OF THE OFFICE FOR NORTHERN CULTURAL COMMUNITIES (ONCC) AND THE OFFICE FOR SOUTHERN CULTURAL COMMUNITIES (OSCC) Section 74. Officers and employees who may be reinstated shall refund such retirement benefits or gratuity received: Provided. . or belonging to. In addition.000) or both such fine and imprisonment upon the discretion of the court. furthermore. he shall be obliged to pay to the ICCs/IPs concerned whatever damage may have been suffered by the latter as a consequence of the unlawful act. . finally That absorbed personnel must still meet the qualifications and standards set by the Civil Service and the Placement Committee herein created. Officers and employees who are to be phased-out as a result of the merger of their offices shall be entitled to gratuity a rate equivalent to one and a half (1 1/2) months salary for every year of continuous and satisfactory service rendered or the equivalent nearest fraction thereof favorable to them on the basis of the highest salary received. the merged offices as aforestated shall be transferred to the NCIP without further need of conveyance. That the positions of Regional Directors and below. any person who violates any provision of this Act shall. transfer or assignment and shall be held for the same purpose as they were held by the former offices: Provided. are hereby merged as organic offices of the NCIP and shall continue to function under a revitalized and strengthened structures to achieve the objectives of the NCIP: Provided. further. priority shall be given to the former. That officials and employees of the phased-out offices who may be qualified may apply for reappointment with the NCIP and may be given prior rights in the filing up of the newly created positions of NCIP. shall be punished in accordance with the customary laws of the ICCs/IPs concerned: Provided. Section 33. Section 77. . The placement Committee shall be composed of seven (7) commissioners and an ICCs/IPs representative from each of the first and second level employees association in the Offices for Northern and Southern Cultural Communities (ONCC/OSCC).

rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Section 79. and cultural well-being. recommendations. orders. . .Within sixty (60) days immediately after appointment. international treaties. . further. Is there a Constitutional basis for ancestral domains? Yes. Section 81. Separability Clause. the NCIP shall issue the necessary rules and regulations. Appropriations. so we could not really discuss it. . Thereafter. customs and agreements. other provisions shall not be affected thereby.This Act will not in any manner adversely affect the rights and benefits of the ICCs/IPs under other conventions. Effectivity.The City of Baguio shall remain to be governed by its Chapter and all lands proclaimed as part of its townsite reservation shall remain as such until otherwise reclassified by appropriate legislation: Provided. Special Provision. The Congress may provide for the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain. 122-B and 122-C. for the effective implementation of this Act. That prior land rights and titles recognized and/or required through any judicial. Petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court assailing the validity of the MOA. Saving Clause. Section 80. . administrative or other processes before the effectivity of this Act shall remain valid: Provided.Presidential Decree NO. . Implementing Rules and Regulations. Let’s have a general discussion on ancestral lands and ancestral domains. decrees.In case any provision of this Act or any portion thereof is declared unconstitutional by a competent court. Approved: 29 October 1997. 410. . shall protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic. . Section 83.The amount necessary to finance the initial implementation of this Act shall be charged against the current year's appropriation of the ONCC and the OSCC. Executive Order Nos. and all other laws.This Act shall take effect fifteen days (15) days upon its publication in the Official Gazette or in any two (2) newspapers of general circulation. social. subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national development policies and programs.CHAPTER XIII FINAL PROVISIONS Section 78. Section 82. Section 84. awards. national laws. That this provision shall not apply to any territory which becomes part of the City of Baguio after the effectivity of this Act. such sums as may be necessary for its continued implementation shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. Section 5 of Article XII of the Constitution provides: The State. in consultation with the Committees on National Cultural Communities of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Primer on Ancestral Lands and Ancestral Domains lPrimer on Ancestral Lands and Ancestral Domains One of the bigger issues for the past couple of days is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Ancestral Domain (for the Bangsamoro People in certain parts of Mindanao) between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Repealing Clause.

coastal areas. Under Republic Act No. It is also subject to property rights within the ancestral domains already existing and/or vested upon effectivity of R. What are the rights to Ancestral Domain? Certain rights of ownership and possession of ICCs/IPs to their ancestral domains are recognized and protected. . and other lands individually owned whether alienable and disposable or otherwise. held under a claim of ownership. under claims of individual or traditional group ownership. residential lots. particularly the home ranges of ICCs/IPs who are still nomadic and/or shifting cultivators. What is “Ancestral Land”? It refers to land occupied. hunting grounds. It shall include ancestral lands. 8371. families and clans who are members of the ICCs/IPs since time immemorial. to the present except when interrupted by war. swidden farms and tree lots. Of ownership. continuously to the present except when interrupted by war. or as a consequence of government projects and other voluntary dealings entered into by government and private individuals/corporations. deceit. 8371. possessed and utilized by individuals. agricultural. including the right: 1. communally or individually since time immemorial. 8371. ICCs/IPs have the right to regulate the entry of migrant settlers and organizations into the domains. control and use lands and natural resources. environmental protection and the conservation measures. burial grounds. by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest. continuously. deceit. traditional hunting and fishing grounds. stealth or as a consequence of government projects or any other voluntary dealings entered into by government and private individuals/corporations. inland waters. and lands which may no longer be exclusively occupied by ICCs/IPs but from which they traditionally had access to for their subsistence and traditional activities.Is there any law which covers ancestral domains? Yes. rice terraces or paddies. To stay in the territories. pasture. To regulate entry of migrants. social and cultural welfare. To develop.A. and which are necessary to ensure their economic. also known as “The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. It is subject to property rights within the ancestral domains already existing and/or vested upon effectivity of R. and natural resources therein. force majeure or displacement by force. pursuant to national and customary laws. What is “Ancestral Domain”? It refers to all areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs comprising lands. private forests. forests.” the State recognizes and promotes certain rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) within the framework of the Constitution. bodies of water. by themselves or through their ancestors. occupied or possessed by ICCs/IPs. sacred places. force majeure or displacement by force. worship areas. residential. 2. including. mineral and other natural resources. This includes lands. This includes the right to negotiate the terms and conditions for the exploration of natural resources in the areas for the purpose of ensuring ecological. bodies of water traditionally and actually occupied by ICCs/IPs. nor through any means other than eminent domain. and all improvements made by them at any time within the domains. 3. stealth.A. but not limited to. 4. No ICCs/IPs will be relocated without their free and prior informed consent.

and a description of the natural features and landmarks embraced therein.5. A non-member of the ICCs/IPs concerned may be allowed to take part in the development and utilization of the natural resources for a period of not exceeding twenty-five (25) years renewable for not more than twenty-five (25) years. has agreed to allow such operation. by a majority of the members of the ICCs/IPs. or through a Petition for Delineation filed with the NCIP. To claim parts of ancestral domains previously reserved for various purposes. The State shall guarantee the right of ICCs/IPs to freely pursue their economic. hereditary succession and settlement of land disputes. Do the ICCs/IPs have the righ to self-governance? Yes. Are lands lands certified to be ancestral domains covered by real estate taxes? These lands are exempt from real property taxes. . the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP shall prepare a perimeter map. provided that a formal and written agreement is entered into with the ICCs/IPs concerned or that the community. ICCs/IPs have the inherent right to selfgovernance and self-determination. social and cultural development. Any doubt or ambiguity in the application and interpretation of laws shall be resolved in favor of the ICCs/IPs. 6. commercial forest plantation and residential purposes or upon titling by private persons. The State respects the integrity of their values. Petition for delineation. conflict resolution institutions. Preparation of maps. traditions and practices of the ICCs/IPs of the land where the conflict arises shall be applied first with respect to property rights. peace building processes or mechanisms and other customary laws and practices within their respective communities and as be compatible with the national legal system and with internationally recognized human rights. Delineation proper. To resolve land conflicts in accordance primarily with customary law. What are the applicable laws? Customary laws. Who has priority over natural resources within ancestral domains? The ICCs/IPs shall have priority rights in the harvesting. c. and other forms of exaction except such portion of the ancestral domains as are actually used for large-scale agriculture. special levies. shall be immediately undertaken by the Ancestral Domains Office upon filing of the application by the ICCs/IPs concerned. complete with technical descriptions. extraction. What is the process of delineation of ancestral domains? The identification and delineation of ancestral domains shall be done in accordance with the following general procedure: a. except those reserved and intended for common and public welfare and service. The official delineation of ancestral domain boundaries including census of all community members therein. The process of delineating a specific perimeter may be initiated by the National Commission on Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) with the consent of the ICC/IP concerned. claims and ownerships. The ICCs/IPs shall have the right to use their own commonly accepted justice systems. practices and institutions. – On the basis of such investigation and the findings of fact based thereon. development or exploitation of any natural resources within the ancestral domains. pursuant to its own decision making process. b.

The NCIP shall register issued certificates of ancestral domain titles and certificates of ancestral lands titles before the Register of Deeds in the place where the property is situated. Within 15 days from publication. 2. ICCs/IPs whose ancestral lands/ domains were officially delineated prior to the enactment of the law shall have the right to apply for the issuance of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) over the area without going through the process. series of 1993. provincial and regional offices of the NCIP. indigenous peoples who were not assimilated into Christianity were then called and identified as the “non-Christian”[1] or savage tribes. containing a list of all those identified in the census. the Ancestral Domains Office shall require the submission of additional evidence. and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for 2 consecutive weeks to allow other claimants to file opposition thereto within 15 days from date of such publication. Notice and publication. broadcasting in a radio station will be a valid substitute. Legal Rights And Natural Resources Center/ Friends Of The Earth-Philippines Ana Rhia T. A copy of each document. nor to ancestral lands and domains delineated under any other community/ancestral domain program prior to the enactment of R. Report of investigation and other documents. if the proof is deemed insufficient. Registration of CADTs. . A copy of the document shall also be posted at the local. [2] and thus “are the less enlightened minorities of our population”[3]. During the colonial period. f. h. shall be prepared by the Ancestral Domains Office of the NCIP. Endorsement to NCIP. ICCs/IPs whose ancestral domains have been officially delineated and determined by the NCIP shall be issued a CADT in the name of the community concerned. What are not covered by this process? The delineanation process shall not apply to ancestral domains/lands already delineated according to DENR Administrative Order No. the Ancestral Domains Office shall prepare a report to the NCIP endorsing a favorable action upon a claim that is deemed to have sufficient proof.A. g. including a translation in the native language of the ICCs/IPs concerned shall be posted in a prominent place therein for at least 15 days. the political attitude towards indigenous peoples and their rights have undergone many changes. Going Beyond The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) In The Philippines. A complete copy of the preliminary census and a report of investigation. Pasimio Legal Overview of Philippine Indigenous Peoples Rights Throughout Philippine history. Mere posting shall be deemed sufficient if both newspaper and radio station are not available. from 1521. The Ancestral Domains Office shall reject any claim that is deemed patently false or fraudulent after inspection and verification. However. and of the inspection process.d. 8371. In areas where no such newspaper exists. e. Muhi and Judith Pamela A. Issuance of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT).

which was published in 1916. however. and natural resources are owned by the State. and at the same time protect the rights of those who wish to preserve their original lifeways beside that larger community.[7] To this end. A possible basis for this 10% is the census of 1915 conducted by the US colonial government. the application of the laws and the interpretation of the 1987 Constitution have limited the indigenous peoples ownership of these natural resources to mere preferential rights to exploit. develop and use. who are not residents of the area. natural or juridical. it will be presumed to have been held in the same way from before the Spanish conquest. as this would place such State in direct contradiction to the guarantee of due process as against actual owners.[13] Thus. and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. thereby setting the stage for social conflict at the community level. the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Cariňo v. leases or permits. even fatal. despite this pronouncement.[9] One policy that the Philippines had not changed since its 1935 Constitution is the so-called Regalian Doctrine. in the context of the Constitution viewed in its entirety. The exploration. Under this doctrine. there is no accurate count of the number of the indigenous peoples in the Philippines.[8] The recognition of IP rights are. the struggle to gain recognition and respect for indigenous peoples rights has been long and arduous and sometimes.[12] Thus.Since the declaration of Philippine independence in 1898. all other natural resources shall not be alienated. is to create an exception to uniformity of treatment under law mandated under the standard of “equal protection of the laws”. joint-venture or co-production agreements are given to persons. Insular Government[14] in 1909 was a breakthrough in the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights to their ancestral domains. all lands of the public domains. from the 1935 to the 1987 Constitution could not mean absolute ownership simply by operation of law. The standard percentage that is being used to estimate is 10% of the over-all population.”[6] The ratification of the 1987 Constitution saw the change in government policy from one of ‘integration’ to ‘recognition’ of indigenous peoples rights. With the exception of agricultural lands. or current production sharing. the land has been held by individuals under a claim of private ownership.[5] The policy of the Government was “to integrate into the mainstream of Philippine society certain ethnic groups who seek full integration into the larger community. Thus. As a matter of policy. development. Yet. despite ancestral domains being now understood as including natural resources. as far back as testimony or memory goes. The Cariňo doctrine stated that when. or its conceptual heir. by virtue of that title acquire ownership or control of the natural resources found within the titled land. it was only in the 1973 Constitution[4] where indigenous peoples found their place in the country’s national framework. To date. This problem is further complicated by the fact that the government’s awards of resource rights through licenses. The provision in the Philippine Constitution was intended to authorize special treatment of those Filipinos comprising the cultural minorities in the country. they do not. the State recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development. social and cultural well-being. and never to have been public land.[11] The declaration of ownership of the State of all lands of the public domain and all natural resources. even in those rare cases where indigenous peoples communities have managed to secure documents of title to their lands. . the State shall protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic. the State.[10] This legal doctrine recalls the time when all titles were valid only when it could be shown that it originated from a grant or sale from the Crown. as interpreted in Cariňo. subject to national development policies and programs. The clear intent.

In this document. and it was under the Presidency of Corazon Aquino when the draft law was first submitted. The IPRA more importantly. This is a clear indication of the level of serious interest the government has in identifying the Indigenous Peoples. including community displacement. While the draft was still pending. (2) the recognition of the bundle of rights held by indigenous peoples.right of ownership over land and natural resources. the counts of the population described as “ tribos independientes” “infieles” and the like constituted around 10% of the total population in the Philippines at that time.[15] The government uses pecentage higher than 10% (13%-15%). the overlapping of almost two-thirds of extractive projects with ancestral territories. (3) the establishment of a process for the formal recognition of land rights through the introduction of the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) or Certificate Ancestral Land Title (CALT). IPRA therefore provided. and thus contained four significant aspects: (1) the articulation of the recognition of the right to self-governance. Over generations. At that time. though there is no clear basis of this percentaging as well. their territories were delineated from other lands. different indigenous organizations were consulted. At first. there were intense international solidarity work. The Promises of IPRA In 1997. The IPRA was meant to be a corrective legislation. There were groups. and the lack of programmatic approach in identifying the various forms of discrimination they experience – the lack of basic services and appropriate economic development projects. the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) was passed by the Philippine Congress. to national formations representing different indigenous communities. and there were those who engaged the government and got involved in policy advocacy work. first. at different levels and intensity. and thus. an administrative order was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that recognized claims by communities. the Indigenous Peoples groups and the advocates. The dictator Marcos was just overthrown. and. after ten years of lobbying and campaigning. . torture and extrajudicial killings. which includes: 1. Expanding this list. meaning. the articulation of numerous rights that should be afforded to indigenous peoples. the agency mandated to protect the interest of indigenous peoples. (4) the establishment of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). who were strategically involved in all of these forms of struggle. it sought to address historical injustices perpetuated against indigenous peoples. the indigenous peoples have been engaged in various forms of struggles – organizing into community organizations. and the state of poverty of indigenous communities. Indigenous peoples are also victims of continuous and systematic human rights violations. The struggle to have a law that recognized indigenous peoples rights to their lands was not an easy one. there were groups who were part of the armed struggle. “translated” and applied into law the Supreme Court’s decision in Carino and the recognized the legality of native titles. the draft law that was submitted to Congress sought to remove from the public and private commercial domain the lands of indigenous peoples.

2.right to develop lands and natural resources; 3.right to stay in territories; 4.right in case of displacement; 5.right to regulate the entry of migrants; 6.right to safe and clean air and water; 7.right to claim parts of reservations; 8.right to resolve conflicts; 9.right of redemption; 10. freedom from discrimination in labor; 11. freedom from conflict, and many more. This list of rights, as well as other rights found in different laws, have been used by communities and non-government organizations to protect indigenous peoples rights from encroachment. In this way, IPRA was a sentry that delayed or hampered the entry of unwanted projects into ancestral territories. IPRA was also the only legislation that specifically provided for the right of indigenous peoples to determine their own development, even if there was a qualification in the 1987 Constitution that such development of communities must be in accordance with national development. The law specifically states “The State recognizes the inherent right of ICCs/IPs to self-governance and self-determination and respects the integrity of their values, practices and institutions. Consequently, the State shall guarantee the right of ICCs/IPs to freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” Ideally, this would mean that indigenous peoples do not only have the power to participate in decision-making processes of the State, but going beyond that, they themselves have the power to determine the fates of their territories and their lives. Another introduction of the IPRA that remains to be used as a strategy to secure land security is the establishment of a formal system that will recognize ancestral territories. Though in the past land laws in the Philippines, reference is made to the territories of cultural minorities, these laws have always given restrictions on ownership on territories.[16] Some land laws do not even recognize indigenous ownership, instead, considers the land as part of agrarian reform or resettlement reservations. Others would impose limits on the size and expanse of ownership. With IPRA, communities can apply for a formal title that

can be as much as tens of thousands of hectares, as long as the community can prove time immemorial possession. The last, and maybe the most controversial element, of IPRA is the creation of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples or NCIP. The NCIP has the mandate to protect and promote the rights of communities. It has the power to formulate policies and regulations for the proper implementation of IPRA. It was supposed to be an independent agency whose members were representatives of indigenous peoples themselves. It also had the power to determine cases that involved indigenous peoples. The passage of IPRA was indeed historical. It is a progressive law, moving away from the regalian doctrine – the state control and ownership of land and other resources. Thus, IPRA received broad support, with a lot of indigenous communities and advocates being hopeful that this law can actually have positive impacts on the lives of the indigenous communities. There were, some, however, who remained cynical and suspect of how this law, a product of long and hard negotiations and compromises, can actually effect meaningful and fundamental changes in the political, economic and social conditions of the indigenous peoples. Challenges In the course of its lifetime, the IPRA has met some very serious challenges, one of which was the contest to its constitutionality filed by a former Supreme Court Justice. A year after its passage, in 1998, Justice Isagani Cruz claimed that the IPRA was contrary to the Regalian Doctrine contained in the Philippine Constitution, specifically because the IPRA states that indigenous peoples own the natural resources found within their territories. The Supreme Court reached a split decision in the case in December 2000. And by virtue of this ruling deadlock, the IPRA remained to be constitutional. It is the position of our organization, however, that it is not IPRA that is at the core of this case. Nor the rights of indigenous peoples, as these rights have not ceased to exist, and are only awaiting society’s ability to recognize them. What is on trial was the willingness of the State and its people to finally rid themselves of prejudices and misplaced fears.[17] Aside from this legal challenge, IPRA faces other challenges which can be categorized into two: that at the policy-level, and at the implementation level. At the policy level, government has issued a number of administrative regulations on the implementation of IPRA. As the years pass, we have seen in particular, the executive department systematically watering down the rights of indigenous peoples, especially that of the right to self-determination. Part and parcel of the right to self-determination is the right to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). Since 1997, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples or NCIP has revised the rules on FPIC twice, with the underlying objective to make the entry of extractive projects easier and faster. The 2006 FPIC Guidelines, for example, was issued to give way to the commitments made under the Mineral Action Plan of the Philippines, facilitating the rapid and easy entry of mining projects in ancestral domains through the so-called harmonization of IPRA with the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. In fact, as of February 2008, almost 60% of projects that have required FPIC were mining projects, thus, making mining a very relevant issue for communities.

The government has even further provided for sub-categories within the indigenous peoples’ sector that has resulted to more discrimination. FPIC, for example, is not a right that is afforded to all indigenous peoples. Immigrant IPs, by default, are not afforded FPIC, for the simple reason that they cannot claim the land as their ancestral territories. Such is the struggle of the Ifugaos in Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya, when their FPIC was not taken upon the entry of a mining project by the simple fact that they are immigrants. Meanwhile, despite the introduction of the CADT/CALT as mere paper or formal recognition of indigenous right to land, indigenous peoples still suffer from tenurial insecurity. This is partly due to the fact that there is either a real or perceived conflict of land laws and policies, and most often than not, these laws and policies are interpreted in favor of big businesses, the rich, and the powerful — despite IPRA’s requirement that ‘any doubt or ambiguity in the application of laws shall be resolved in favor of the indigenous communities.’[18]. Throughout Philippine history, various land laws were passed that resulted to a systematic taking of ancestral territories. The underlying cause of such laws was to rid government and transnational corporations of communities that were roadblocks to more profit. As Prof. Owen Lynch[19] pointed out, land laws were passed during the American era because, “Taft and Worcester were, first and foremost, eager to lure capital into the colony. They believed that this required them to have total control over the allocation of legal rights to natural resources. The key elements of their hidden agenda were to keep the estimates of “public” land occupants low and ensure that the processes for recognizing and allocating legal rights to land resources were inefficient and bureaucratically cumbersome. Section VI of the PLA (Public Land Act) went even further. It provided the regime with a mechanism for rolling back recognition of private rights granted during the Spanish era for failure to secure ‘proper official records or documents’ or to comply with necessary conditions [CA 141, Sec. 54, par. 8].” Thus, these laws mandated that failure for communities to register or file a formal claim over these lands would operate as a loss of real rights by virtue of prescription. Ancestral territories were thus, with one stroke of the pen, have been classified as forestlands, protected areas, agricultural lands or mineral lands, depriving communities their right to due process. The strategy employed by our colonizers to take lands of communities has unfortunately been used up until present by the Philippine government. Registration, which is a foreign concept for indigenous peoples, has been unfortunately projected by different groups to be equivalent to land security, when the same has been shown to be seldom true. The Subanons of Mt. Canatuan, in Zamboanga del Norte were among the first communities to be issued a CADT in 2003. The instrument, however, was only registered in 2008. Despite the existence of the CADT, their leaders could not even enter his own lands because of the operations of TVI Resource Development, Inc., the subsidiary of Canadian TVI Pacific Inc. The Subanons have brought their case in 2007 to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for redress, failing to get any from domestic remedies. The lack or absence of appropriate legal mechanisms for indigenous peoples to regain their lands has also greatly limited the ‘corrective’ characteristic of IPRA. This is added to the fact that IPRA mandates indigenous peoples to respect ‘vested’ titles, with the burden of proof to prove otherwise on these poor communities. The struggle for recognition of ancestral domain has been bureaucratized – reduced to paper submissions, fulfillment of forms and checklists. Judicial rulings have also glaringly favored the interests of the mineral industry over those of indigenous peoples’, which have been labeled as “parochial” claiming that mining is an industry for the public’s

remain to be at the outskirts of the legal fora. These are only some of the policy issues that continuously plague indigenous peoples. and the FPIC Guidelines. As mentioned earlier. Some of these regulations would include the Rules on Pleadings and Practices. For example. the Delineation of CADTs/CALTs. while on the other. It uses this reason as an excuse for the numerous criticisms on the delay in the delivery of services and delineation of ancestral territories.5 million hectares out of the 30 million hectares that make up the Philippines. then to the Department of Agrarian Reform. ancestral territories are estimated to cover 7. it has not proven its integrity and independence on issues that challenge the jurisdiction of other government offices. it does not wish to compromise the economic .benefit. The NCIP itself. As an agency that has been tossed around the bureaucracy for a number of times. despite the fact that IPRA has already given primary jurisdiction to the NCIP. It has come to a point that communities themselves have questioned the relevance of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).[22] These things are all made possible because it is evident in the law that. development projects overlap with about 60% of ancestral territories. NCIP has recently been called as inutile and self-serving. only 38% of these territories were delineated. the institution that was created supposedly to protect the rights of indigenous peoples. then to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.[21] Some groups and communities have called for the abolition of the agency because of the real and perceived corruption of some of its officers and workers. and. Government claimed that the constitutional challenge to IPRA greatly delayed the implementation of the law. depending on the demands of these corporations. After eleven years since the passage of IPRA. made it difficult for communities to secure their territories and to access justice. NCIP. as of May 2009. in a country that offers unabashedly its natural resources for investments. first being attached to the Office of the President. waiting for recognition from the legal community. then back again to the Office of the President. has made it easy for transnational corporations to exploit indigenous communities. not only does its implementation depend on the initiatives of the NCIP. It has time and again been criticized as toeing the line of transnational corporations. implementing the law differently in different communities. It has issued regulations that are difficult. The implementation of IPRA is altogether a different matter.[20] Customary laws. The challenges that communities face with regard to the implementation and interpretation of the law comes from the fact that they hold the key to so-called national development. on one hand. among many others. unwieldy and almost impossible for communities to comply with. but it has made the NCIP a superbody which enjoys not only executive powers. in the cases of the Mangyans in Mindoro and the Subanons of Zamboanga del Norte. The NCIP has been shown also to be weak in asserting its political will. The regulations that are supposed to facilitate the enjoyment of communities to their rights are the same ones that hamper and hinder community development. representing 107 CADTs and 207 CALTs. Out of these 107 CADTs. have created non-traditional leadership structures to ensure the entry of mining. meanwhile. only 24 have been formally registered. but also quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial as well.

was hardly used in cases before the courts. prior and informed consent. There are so many community stories which tell the tale of NCIP or the IPRA being used to facilitate the violation of indigenous peoples rights. Thus. This was possible because law is susceptible to as much as many people that would want to interpret it and use it for their benefit. though. We have used different strategies to either push for change or protect the rights of communities by maintaining the status quo. We have also filed policy-determining cases before the courts to challenge unjust policies and laws. For some.opportunities that foreign investments bring because of something as simple as the free. We have issued statements. the institution that IPRA created. other laws were used to challenge violations of indigenous peoples rights. we need to network and campaign to maximize the efforts of all the groups concerned. Interestingly enough. but instead. position papers and critiques on executive orders. and therefore. Movement building remains to be an important component in any advocacy. civil society has nevertheless tried different strategies to protect the rights of indigenous peoples – some of which did not necessarily involve the use of IPRA. Third. Moving forward What are some of the lessons that we have learned from the passage of IPRA? First. The formal processes that IPRA introduced became the same processes that were used to violate indigenous peoples rights while legitimizing the encroachment of big businesses – something that has not changed since Spain settled on our lands. the other spaces for engagement and participation. the titling and registration of lands sometimes distracted the communities in achieving genuine land security. the IPRA. was not so different from the institutions that it abolished because it was composed of the same people and thus used the same culture of corruption and bureaucracy. Second. We have engaged the local government units. Change is constant. IPRA became the instrument by which rights were manipulated to suit the demands of the global market for raw materials. the NCIP. Fourth. . though it contained a long list of rights and provisions which sought to protect the rights of the communities. Instead. though progressive. Recently. more often than not each situation calls for a different strategy and use of the tools that are available. was far from a perfect law. IPRA. we have filed a draft law in Congress on the mineral industry to take the place of the current mining law. and the international forum. we have not filed a case that used the IPRA. the national government. Strategies Despite the weaknesses of the law.

the advocacy of indigenous peoples rights do not end with the passage of a law. 1987 Constitution. II. beliefs. [8] Section 5. Provincial Board of Mindoro (39 Phil. 1987 Constitution. The State shall consider the customs. XII. 1983. it is critical at this juncture that we take a deep breath and look – how has the law been relevant to the lives of the communities? How has the law been able to correct the historical injustices it meant to address? Or has there been too much hope pinned on a law.” Philippine Natural Resources Law Journal. 1987 Constitution. And finally. . as well as from those who have maintained distance from the law and have continued in their struggle for their land. reflections and lessons from the communities who actually engaged and used the law in their assertion of rights. In the words of Dean Marvic Leonen. XII. [4] Art. [3] Felwa v. after more than a decade from the passage of IPRA. For us from the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center.” Human Rights and Ancestral Land: A Source Book. [7] Section 22. Art. we have always seen the law as either a tool of opportunities or challenges – and the IPRA is no different from other laws. It is about changing mindsets and prejudices. In the end. after all. Thank you. perhaps even if fully implemented. For us advocates. The law and its implementation. Art. when we all know that the passage of IPRA does not automatically translate into justice and change. No. and in our societies. one of the founders of the Center. [5] Fernandez. [2] Cariňo v. Gus. community cohesion and organization has achieved more ground than the mere passage of the law. XV. and against encroachment. 660) [1919]. could not be the last word on the recognition of IP rights. [1] Rubi vs. Section 11. and full and authentic participation. supra. We have seen communities assert their rights with or without IPRA. “The Legal Recognition and Protection of Interests in Ancestral Lands of Cultural Communities in the Philippines. and instead have looked at laws as only part and parcel of the political context. “Land Rights and Land Tenure Situation of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines. are. It is a continuous struggle to rid our countries the discrimination introduced by colonizers. Writing and legislating policy has been significant but definitely not enough for the communities that still struggle for genuine recognition. Vol. at the community level all the way at the national level that achieves justice and catalyze fundamental changes in the lives of the indigenous peoples. Thus. Insular Gov’t. it is our collective ability to reflect and act on our experiences that will really matter. 5. August 1992. and interests of national cultural communities in the formulation and implementation of state policies. [9] Id.Fifth. Art. Presidential Decree 1414. [11] Gatmaytan. “The IPRA. influenced by the political. [6] Section 1. Perfecto. traditions. it is the collective struggle. Salas.”[23] The IPRA has definitely been used for the good and for the bad by different parties. socio-economic context of a country. as is the nature of law. It is imperative that we hear the experiences. [10] Section 1. it is timely that a comprehensive assessment be made on IPRA. instead. 1.

March 30. No.. an anthropologist.Customary laws. Philippine Natural Resources Law Journal.R.[12] A Divided Court: Case Materials from the Constitutional Challenge to the IPRA of 1997”. [22] Section 55(i) of IPRA. et. 4. 249-320 (1988). citing these reasons for doing the same. Applicable Laws.14. Vol. October 15. 141. claims and ownerships. Commonwealth Act No. 449 (1909) [15] Interview with Ms. 2. Theresa Guia-Padilla. December 1. [20] La Bugal-B’laan Tribal Association. G. hereditary succession and settlement of land disputes.S. [21] Civil society organizations under the leadership of the Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples recently disengaged in a FPIC Guidelines review process. vs. p. . p. v Ramos. No. Vol 63. al. IPRA. 1999. 157882. [13] Section 57. Philippine Law Journal. Gozun et. 127882. traditions and practices of the ICCs/IPs of the land where the conflict arises shall be applied first with respect to property rights. [18] IPRA Sec. [19] Invisible Peoples and a Hidden Agenda: The Origins of Contemporary Philippine Land Laws (19001913). al. Public Land Act of 1936. [23] A Study in Political Compromise. [14] 212 U. 2004. 2009. ANTHROWATCH. [17] Of Prejudiced Dispossession (statement of LRC on Cruz petition). [16] Public Land Act of 1919. 2006 . 63.R. DESAMA. 2001. G. Inc. No.

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VELASCO. FATIMA QUITAIN. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. JR. VENICE SEGARRA. CARPIO MORALES.. SARAH JOELLE LINTAG. REYES. VICTORIA LLENOS. CARPIO.J.. DONNA CALOZA. represented and joined by DIVINA V. . Petitioners. MANUEL SANTOS. YNARES-SANTIAGO. ILAS. JJ. TINGA. Nos. DINAH DELA PEÑA. PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD.1[1] DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE MARITIME GROUP. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO. CULTURE AND SPORTS. C. CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF MANILA BAY. CORONA. PAUL DENNIS QUINTERO. CHICO-NAZARIO. NACHURA. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS.. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. and BRION. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES. 171947-48 Present: PUNO.versus - G. SABINIANO ALBARRACIN. QUISUMBING. AZCUNA.R. DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT. FRITZIE TANGKIA.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY. MA. JR. and DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. 1 .

J. This case started when. naysayers. To most of these agencies and their official complement. for the magnitude of environmental destruction is now on a scale few ever foresaw and the wound no longer simply heals by itself. is a sad commentary on bureaucratic efficiency and commitment. the environmental pollution problem. are tasked to protect and preserve. respondents Concerned Residents of Manila Bay filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Imus. oil spills. JR. 1999. a spot for different contact recreation activities. for so many decades in the past. rivers. at the first instance. the pollution menace does not seem to carry the high national priority it deserves. 2008 x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION VELASCO. Cavite against several government 2 . a place with a proud historic past. but now a dirty and slowly dying expanse mainly because of the abject official indifference of people and institutions that could have otherwise made a difference.: The need to address environmental pollution. and procrastinators can still be heard. the destruction of forests and other critical habitats. and the unabated improper disposal of garbage. and Promulgated: JAIME AGUSTIN R.HANNIBAL AUGUSTUS BOBIS. by the nature of their respective offices or by direct statutory command. 2[2] But amidst hard evidence and clear signs of a climate crisis that need bold action. At the core of the case is the Manila Bay. and seas polluted by human activities. our internal waters. if not mitigating. once brimming with marine life and. This case turns on government agencies and their officers who. the voice of cynicism. Media have finally trained their sights on the ill effects of pollution. on January 29. OPOSA. Respondents. And rightly so. if their track records are to be the norm. has of late gained the attention of the international community. Their cavalier attitude towards solving. December 18.. shores. as a cause of climate change. FELIMON SANTIAGUEL.

among others: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) Respondents’ constitutional right to life. respondents alleged that the continued neglect of petitioners in abating the pollution of the Manila Bay constitutes a violation of. as plaintiffs a quo. and protection of the Manila Bay. the complaint stated. The Marine Pollution Law (PD 979). The Illegal Disposal of Wastes Decree (PD 825). stemmed from: x x x [The] reckless. The trial of the case started off with a hearing at the Manila Yacht Club followed by an ocular inspection of the Manila Bay. testifying for petitioners. Civil Code provisions on nuisance and human relations. The Environment Code (PD 1152).agencies. Environmental Management Bureau. wholesale. (PD) 1152 or the Philippine Environment Code. 3[3] In their individual causes of action. The Sanitation Code (PD 856). prayed that petitioners be ordered to clean the Manila Bay and submit to the RTC a concerted concrete plan of action for the purpose. Renato T. health. respondents. stated that water samples collected from different beaches around the Manila Bay showed that the amount of fecal coliform content ranged from 50. The Pollution Control Law (PD 984). The Trust Doctrine and the Principle of Guardianship. accumulated and ongoing acts of omission or commission [of the defendants] resulting in the clear and present danger to public health and in the depletion and contamination of the marine life of Manila Bay. 6969). the Chief of the Water Quality Management Section. specifically Presidential Decree No. and International Law Inter alia.000 to 80. Raffled to Branch 20 and docketed as Civil Case No. [for which reason] ALL defendants must be held jointly and/or solidarily liable and be collectively ordered to clean up Manila Bay and to restore its water quality to class B waters fit for swimming. Executive Order No.000 most probable 3 . Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The Toxic and Hazardous Wastes Law (Republic Act No. and other forms of contact recreation. among them the petitioners. This environmental aberration. 192. 1851-99 of the RTC. Cruz. The Water Code (PD 1067). the complaint alleged that the water quality of the Manila Bay had fallen way below the allowable standards set by law. for the cleanup. rehabilitation. skin-diving. and a balanced ecology.

construct and operate sewage facilities for the proper disposal of waste. to act and perform their respective duties by devising a consolidated. to see to it that the water districts under its wings. are directed.number (MPN)/ml when what DENR Administrative Order No. to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay and restore its waters to SB classification to make it fit for swimming. The dispositive portion reads: WHEREFORE. coordinated and concerted scheme of action for the rehabilitation and restoration of the bay. skin-diving and other forms of contact recreation. jointly and solidarily. or the “SB” level. for Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and in behalf of other petitioners. 4[4] Rebecca de Vera. Defendant DENR. the RTC rendered a Decision 5[5] in favor of respondents. as part of its evidence. which is the lead agency in cleaning up Manila Bay. and its Linis Dagat (Clean the Ocean) project for the cleaning of wastes accumulated or washed to shore. 34-90 prescribed as a safe level for bathing and other forms of contact recreational activities. operate and maintain waste facilities to rid the bay of toxic and hazardous substances. Defendant LWUA. to install. In particular: Defendant MWSS is directed to install. testified about the MWSS’ efforts to reduce pollution along the Manila Bay through the Manila Second Sewerage Project. is one not exceeding 200 MPN/100 ml. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the abovenamed defendant-government agencies. 2002. with defendant DENR as the lead agency. The RTC Ordered Petitioners to Clean Up and Rehabilitate Manila Bay On September 13. 4 5 . defendantagencies. the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) presented. To attain this. provide. operate and maintain adequate [sewerage] treatment facilities in strategic places under its jurisdiction and increase their capacities. within six (6) months from receipt hereof. For its part. finding merit in the complaint. its memorandum circulars on the study being conducted on ship-generated waste treatment and disposal.

Defendant PPA. and five other executive departments and agencies filed directly with this Court a petition for review under Rule 45. And apart from raising concerns about the lack of funds appropriated for cleaning . These nuisances discharge solid and liquid wastes which eventually end up in Manila Bay. The MWSS. Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). to provide and set aside an adequate budget solely for the purpose of cleaning up and rehabilitation of Manila Bay. Defendant DOH. SP No.R. Defendant DECS. through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. were one in arguing in the main that the pertinent provisions of the Environment Code (PD 1152) relate only to the cleaning of specific pollution incidents and do not cover cleaning in general. 76528. As the construction and engineering arm of the government. in a Resolution of December 9. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). and PPA. to closely supervise and monitor the operations of septic and sludge companies and require them to have proper facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming from septic tanks. No pronouncement as to damages and costs. The Court. such as carcass of sunken vessels. to establish. 74944. sent the said petition to the CA for consolidation with the consolidated appeals of MWSS. Defendant DA. before the CA. Defendant MMDA. Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group. operate and maintain an adequate and appropriate sanitary landfill and/or adequate solid waste and liquid disposal as well as other alternative garbage disposal system such as re-use or recycling of wastes. to inculcate in the minds and hearts of the people through education the importance of preserving and protecting the environment. 2002.R. docketed as CA-G. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). DPWH is ordered to actively participate in removing debris. Defendant Philippine Coast Guard and the PNP Maritime Group. the DENR. and other non-biodegradable garbage in the bay. Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). On the other hand. to prevent and also to treat the discharge not only of shipgenerated wastes but also of other solid and liquid wastes from docking vessels that contribute to the pollution of the bay. CV No. and PPA filed before the Court of Appeals (CA) individual Notices of Appeal which were eventually consolidated and docketed as CA-G. LWUA. to protect at all costs the Manila Bay from all forms of illegal fishing. SO ORDERED. Defendant DBM. Petitioners. to remove and demolish structures and other nuisances that obstruct the free flow of waters to the bay. Defendant DPWH. to revitalize the marine life in Manila Bay and restock its waters with indigenous fish and other aquatic animals.

Upgrading of Water Quality and Clean-up Operations. can petitioners be compelled by mandamus to clean up and rehabilitate the Manila Bay? 6 7 . do Sections 17 and 20 of PD 1152 under the headings. the CA denied petitioners’ appeal and affirmed the Decision of the RTC in toto. petitioners also asserted that the cleaning of the Manila Bay is not a ministerial act which can be compelled by mandamus.E. The CA Sustained the RTC By a Decision6[6] of September 28..purposes. The issues before us are two-fold. stressing that the trial court’s decision did not require petitioners to do tasks outside of their usual basic functions under existing laws. ARGUMENTS I [SECTIONS] 17 AND 20 OF [PD] 1152 RELATE ONLY TO THE CLEANING OF SPECIFIC POLLUTION INCIDENTS AND [DO] NOT COVER CLEANING IN GENERAL II THE CLEANING OR REHABILITATION OF THE MANILA BAY IS NOT A MINISTERIAL ACT OF PETITIONERS THAT CAN BE COMPELLED BY MANDAMUS. 7[7] Petitioners are now before this Court praying for the allowance of their Rule 45 petition on the following ground and supporting arguments: THE [CA] DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE NOT HERETOFORE PASSED UPON BY THE HONORABLE COURT. I. 2005. First. IT AFFIRMED THE TRIAL COURT’S DECISION DECLARING THAT SECTION 20 OF [PD] 1152 REQUIRES CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO REMOVE ALL POLLUTANTS SPILLED AND DISCHARGED IN THE WATER SUCH AS FECAL COLIFORMS. envisage a cleanup in general or are they limited only to the cleanup of specific pollution incidents? And second.

the writ of mandamus lies to require the execution of a ministerial duty. including choosing where a landfill should be located by undertaking feasibility studies and cost estimates. when refused.” 10[10] Mandamus is available to compel action. Petitioners maintain that the MMDA’s duty to take measures and maintain adequate solid waste and liquid disposal systems necessarily involves policy evaluation and the exercise of judgment on the part of the agency concerned. They argue that the MMDA. has to make decisions.” 9[9] It connotes an act in which nothing is left to the discretion of the person executing it. It is a “simple. in carrying out its mandate. the Court conducted and heard the parties on oral arguments. but not to direct the exercise of judgment or discretion one way or the other.On August 12. The Cleaning or Rehabilitation of Manila Bay Can be Compelled by Mandamus Generally. 2008. definite duty arising under conditions admitted or proved to exist and imposed by law. on matters involving discretion. 8[8] A ministerial duty is one that “requires neither the exercise of official discretion nor judgment. 8 9 10 . all of which entail the exercise of discretion. Our Ruling We shall first dwell on the propriety of the issuance of mandamus under the premises.

41 of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003) which prescribes the minimum criteria for the establishment of sanitary landfills and Sec. we wish to state that petitioners’ obligation to perform their duties as defined by law. But to illustrate with respect to the instant case. 3(c) of Republic Act No. or which discharge or spill they are to contain. standards. reuse and recycle solid waste.) The MMDA is duty-bound to comply with Sec. Atienza11[11] in which the Court directed the City of Manila to enforce. counter that the statutory command is clear and that petitioners’ duty to comply with and act according to the clear mandate of the law does not require the exercise of discretion. By the same token. First off. on the other hand. on the other. It shall likewise include the establishment and operation of sanitary land fill and related facilities and the implementation of other alternative programs intended to reduce. after the effectivity of the law on February 15. the enforcement of the law or the very act of doing what the law exacts to be done is ministerial in nature and may be compelled by mandamus. (Emphasis added. 42 which provides the minimum operating requirements that each site operator shall maintain in the operation of a sanitary landfill. for example. to choose which bodies of water they are to clean up.Respondents. it is the MMDA’s ministerial duty to attend to such services. are without discretion. 36 and 37 of RA 9003. its Ordinance No. Complementing Sec. This section defines and delineates the scope of the MMDA’s waste disposal services to include: Solid waste disposal and management which include formulation and implementation of policies. While the implementation of the MMDA’s mandated tasks may entail a decision-making process. 41 are Secs. According to respondents. 12[12] enjoining the MMDA and local government units. are two different concepts. programs and projects for proper and sanitary waste disposal. petitioners. the MMDA’s duty to put up an adequate and appropriate sanitary landfill and solid waste and liquid disposal as well as other alternative garbage disposal systems is ministerial. (RA) 7924 creating the MMDA. its duty being a statutory imposition. as a matter of ministerial duty. respondents maintain that petitioners are bereft of discretion on whether or not to alleviate the problem of solid and liquid waste disposal. 11 . the MMDA in particular. We said so in Social Justice Society v. among others. on one hand. 8027 directing the three big local oil players to cease and desist from operating their business in the so-called “Pandacan Terminals” within six months from the effectivity of the ordinance. in other words. The MMDA’s duty in this regard is spelled out in Sec. We agree with respondents. and how they are to carry out such duties.

” 14[14] Any suggestion that the MMDA has the option whether or not to perform its solid waste disposal-related duties ought to be dismissed for want of legal basis. development. but in its charter as well. This duty of putting up a proper waste disposal system cannot be characterized as discretionary. for. management. as may be noted. from using and operating open dumps for solid waste and disallowing. to perform certain functions relating directly or indirectly to the cleanup. designates the DENR as the primary government agency responsible for its enforcement and implementation. the use of controlled dumps. They are precluded from choosing not to perform these duties. Sec. protection. and preservation of the Manila Bay. on the other hand. and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources. A perusal of other petitioners’ respective charters or like enabling statutes and pertinent laws would yield this conclusion: these government agencies are enjoined.2001.13[13] A discretionary duty is one that “allows a person to exercise judgment and choose to perform or not to perform. more 12 13 14 15 . five years after such effectivity. The MMDA’s duty in the area of solid waste disposal. rehabilitation. Consider: (1) The DENR. is set forth not only in the Environment Code (PD 1152) and RA 9003. discretion presupposes the power or right given by law to public functionaries to act officially according to their judgment or conscience. under Executive Order No. as a matter of statutory obligation. 15[15] is the primary agency responsible for the conservation. 19 of the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 (RA 9275). as earlier stated. (EO) 192.

during the oral arguments. extent. b) c) The DENR has prepared the status report for the period 2001 to 2005 and is in the process of completing the preparation of the Integrated Water Quality Management Framework. as of December 2005. under RA 9275. is also tasked to prepare a National Water Quality Status Report.” The DENR. it shall have the following functions. like the MMDA. Sec. exercises jurisdiction “over all aspects of water pollution. using available methods and technologies. it has to submit a final Water Quality Management Area Action Plan.––The [DENR] shall be the primary government agency responsible for the implementation and enforcement of this Act x x x unless otherwise provided herein. Prepare a ten (10) year Water Quality Management Area Action Plan within 12 months following the completion of the framework for each designated water management area. to prevent and abate such pollution. powers and responsibilities: a) Prepare a National Water Quality Status report within twenty-four (24) months from the effectivity of this Act: Provided. Such action plan shall be reviewed by the water quality management area governing board every five (5) years or as need arises. the final draft of a comprehensive action plan with 16 17 . the DENR. or as the need arises.particularly over all aspects of water quality management. the DENR should be made to accomplish the tasks assigned to it under RA 9275. said report. and [takes] measures. As such. has completed. 16[16] Within twelve (12) months thereafter. and a 10-year Water Quality Management Area Action Plan which is nationwide in scope covering the Manila Bay and adjoining areas. determine[s] its location. On water pollution. causes and effects and other pertinent information on pollution. with the assistance of and in partnership with various government agencies and non-government organizations. 19(k). 17[17] Again. 19 of RA 9275 provides: Sec. 19 Lead Agency. Prepare an Integrated Water Quality Management Framework within twelve (12) months following the completion of the status report. severity. magnitude. the DENR Secretary manifested that the DENR. That the Department shall thereafter review or revise and publish annually. Parenthetically. an Integrated Water Quality Management Framework. under the Act’s Sec.

Additionally. and sewage disposal system in the different parts of the country. under Sec. 20 [20] is designated as the agency tasked to promulgate and enforce all laws and issuances respecting the 18 19 20 . The LWUA can direct these districts to construct. The completion of the said action plan and even the implementation of some of its phases should more than ever prod the concerned agencies to fast track what are assigned them under existing laws. and charged with the duty: (g) To construct. pursuant to the Administrative Code of 1987 (EO 292). (4) The Department of Agriculture (DA). 19[19] In relation to the instant petition. 18[18] is vested with jurisdiction. the LWUA. denominated as Operation Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy . restoration. treatment. as attached agency of the DPWH. supervision. 3 of RA 6234. and control over all waterworks and sewerage systems in the territory comprising what is now the cities of Metro Manila and several towns of the provinces of Rizal and Cavite. (2) The MWSS. is tasked with providing sewerage and sanitation facilities. and disposal of sewerage. and operate such sanitary sewerages as may necessary for the proper sanitation and other uses of the cities and comprising the System.estimated budget and time frame. and storm water. Cavite. It can prescribe the minimum standards and regulations for the operations of these districts and shall monitor and evaluate local water standards. treatment. and furnish facilities and services for the collection. and Bataan to prevent pollution in the Manila Bay. under RA 9275. Pampanga. x x x be towns (3) The LWUA under PD 198 has the power of supervision and control over local water districts. Bulacan. operate. inclusive of the setting up of efficient and safe collection. waste. and rehabilitation of the Manila Bay. for the rehabilitation. the LWUA is mandated to provide sewerage and sanitation facilities in Laguna. maintain.

In Metro Manila. in coordination with local government units (LGUs) and other concerned sectors. the DA is charged with coordinating with the PCG and DENR for the enforcement of water quality standards in marine waters. RA 7924 to perform metro-wide services relating to “flood control and sewerage management which include the formulation and implementation of policies. management. its Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) under Sec. and conservation of the fisheries and aquatic resources. For the rest of the country. the DA. Furthermore. control. 22(c) of RA 9275 shall primarily be responsible for the prevention and control of water pollution for the development. in charge of establishing a monitoring. The mandate of the MMDA and DPWH on flood control and drainage services shall include the removal 21 22 23 .conservation and proper utilization of agricultural and fishery resources. and surveillance system to ensure that fisheries and aquatic resources in Philippine waters are judiciously utilized and managed on a sustainable basis. (5) The DPWH. 22[22] More specifically. drainage and sewerage system. the MMDA is authorized by Sec. standards. DPWH shall remain as the implementing agency for flood control services. 3(d). as the engineering and construction arm of the national government. however.” On July 9. a Memorandum of Agreement was entered into between the DPWH and MMDA. 2002. whereby MMDA was made the agency primarily responsible for flood control in Metro Manila. design. and construction services for. among others. is. programs and projects for an integrated flood control. flood control and water resource development systems in accordance with national development objectives and approved government plans and specifications. is tasked under EO 29223[23] to provide integrated planning.21[21] Likewise under RA 9275. under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (RA 8550).

suffer or procure to be thrown. or from the shore. 5(p) of PD 601. 24[24] or the Marine Pollution Decree of 1976.of structures. whereby navigation shall or may be impeded or obstructed or increase the level of pollution of such water.25[25] 24 .” Under Sec. RA 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. dump x x x harmful substances from or out of any ship. and regulations governing marine pollution within the territorial waters of the Philippines. waterways. RA 6975. wharf. the PNP Maritime Group was tasked to “perform all police functions over the Philippine territorial waters and rivers. shall have the primary responsibility of enforcing laws. in which both the PCG and PNP Maritime Group were authorized to enforce said law and other fishery laws. into or upon the territorial and inland navigable waters of the Philippines. any refuse matter of any kind or description whatever other than that flowing from streets and sewers and passing therefrom in a liquid state into tributary of any navigable water from which the same shall float or be washed into such navigable water. rules. 1990. means or manner. 86. dump. or other floating craft or vessel of any kind. discharged. or cause. 124. or other man-made structures at sea. 6 of PD 979. and regulations governing marine pollution within the territorial waters of the Philippines. (6) The PCG. 4 of the law. or otherwise. PD 1067. and c. or the Revised Coast Guard Law of 1974. or by storms or floods. discharge. in accordance with Sec. It shall. either by ordinary or high tides. throw. deposit x x x material of any kind in any place on the bank of any navigable water or on the bank of any tributary of any navigable water. and regulations. by any method. barge. the police functions of the PCG shall be taken over by the PNP when the latter acquires the capability to perform such functions. apprehend violators who: a. This was made clear in Sec. or deposited either from or out of any ship. and esteros (drainages) in violation of RA 7279. rules. or mill of any kind. and Sec. vessel. (7) When RA 6975 or the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Act of 1990 was signed into law on December 13. and other pertinent laws. Since the PNP Maritime Group has not yet attained the capability to assume and perform the police functions of PCG over marine pollution. rules. barge. where the same shall be liable to be washed into such navigable water. discharge or deposit. constructions. the PCG and PNP Maritime Group shall coordinate with regard to the enforcement of laws. and encroachments built along rivers. under Sec. manufacturing establishment. or any other floating craft. It shall promulgate its own rules and regulations in accordance with the national rules and policies set by the National Pollution Control Commission upon consultation with the latter for the effective implementation and enforcement of PD 979. b.

”26[26] Moreover. it is the PCG and PNP Maritime Group that have jurisdiction over said vessels. as amended by MARPOL 73/78. manage and operate a rationalized national port system in support of trade and national development. 2 of EO 513. of persons and vehicles. develop. Thus. 28[28] the Philippines. the PPA is mandated “to establish. and movement within the port. exit from. When the vessels are not docked at ports but within Philippine territorial waters.(8) In accordance with Sec. Sec. as well as movement within the port of watercraft. must ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of sewage from the ships docking in Philippine ports. as a member of the International Marine Organization and a signatory to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. Such police authority shall include the following: xxxx b) To regulate the entry to. the PPA is tasked to adopt such measures as are necessary to prevent the discharge and dumping of solid and liquid wastes and other ship-generated wastes into the Manila Bay waters from vessels docked at ports and apprehend the violators. regulate. without prejudice to the exercise of the functions of the Bureau of Customs and other law enforcement bodies within the area. 6-c of EO 513 states that the PPA has police authority within the ports administered by it as may be necessary to carry out its powers and functions and attain its purposes and objectives. 27[27] Lastly. through the PPA. 25 26 27 28 .

within its area of jurisdiction. septage or a mix sewerage-septage management system shall be employed. In areas not considered as highly urbanized cities. squatting in open dumps and landfills. and other encroachments built in violation of RA 7279 and other applicable laws in coordination with the DPWH and concerned agencies. 48. is duty-bound to put up and maintain adequate sanitary landfill and solid waste and liquid disposal system as well as other alternative garbage disposal systems. as earlier indicated. and Laguna that discharge wastewater directly or eventually into the Manila Bay. (10) The Department of Health (DOH). eviction or demolition may be allowed “when persons or entities occupy danger areas such as esteros. waterways. Chapter VI of RA 9003 that are frequently violated are dumping of waste matters in public places.” The MMDA.biodegradable materials in flood-prone areas. Cavite. shall formulate guidelines and standards for the collection. shorelines. in coordination with the DPWH. and other encroachments built in breach of RA 7279 and other pertinent laws along the rivers. and other public places such as sidewalks. treatment. open burning of solid waste. can dismantle and remove all structures. is tasked to promulgate rules and regulations for the establishment of waste disposal areas that affect the source of a water supply or a reservoir for domestic or municipal use. the DILG shall direct the concerned LGUs to implement the demolition and removal of such structures. the DOH. as lead agency. which would necessary include its penal provisions. With respect to rivers. and other concerned agencies. constructions. Under Sec. and esteros in Metro Manila. railroad tracks. establishment or operation of open dumps as enjoined in RA 9003.(9) The MMDA. waterways. under Article 76 of PD 1067 (the Water Code). 28 of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 (RA 7279). and concerned agencies. Bataan. roads. parks and playgrounds. 29[29] Among the prohibited acts under Sec. and esteros in Bulacan. DPWH. garbage dumps. riverbanks. in coordination with the DENR. 8 of RA 9275. open dumping. and operation of waste management facilities without an environmental compliance certificate. 29 . and disposal of sewage and the establishment and operation of a centralized sewage treatment system. It is primarily responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of RA 9003. LGUs. burying of biodegradable or non. waterways. And under Sec. Pampanga. such as roads. canals or esteros. constructions.

is mandated to integrate subjects on environmental education in its school curricula at all levels. management. 118 of RA 8550. and proper use of the environment. with an emphasis on waste management principles. Commission on Higher Education. the Code of Sanitation of the Philippines. and Sec. it is directed to strengthen the integration of environmental concerns in school curricula at all levels. the DOH is also ordered to ensure the regulation and monitoring of the proper disposal of wastes by private sludge companies through the strict enforcement of the requirement to obtain an environmental sanitation clearance of sludge collection treatment and disposal before these companies are issued their environmental sanitation permit. (11) The Department of Education (DepEd). in collaboration with the DA. 5. Title XVII of the Administrative Code of 1987 to ensure the efficient and sound utilization of government funds and revenues so as to effectively achieve the country’s development objectives. conservation. on the other hand.1.33[33] (12) The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is tasked under Sec. and Philippine Information Agency.In accordance with Sec. 2. the DepEd. 32[32] Under Sec. under the Philippine Environment Code (PD 1152). 7230[30] of PD 856.131[31] of Chapter XVII of its implementing rules. shall launch and pursue a nationwide educational campaign to promote the development. Under the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003). 34[34] 30 31 32 33 34 .

and complete as to what are the obligations and mandate of each agency/petitioner under the law. This law stresses that the State shall pursue a policy of economic growth in a manner consistent with the protection. and revival of the quality of our fresh. . Section 20. and abatement of pollution mechanisms for the protection of water resources. Upgrading of Water Quality .One of the country’s development objectives is enshrined in RA 9275 or the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. the government agencies concerned shall take such measures as may be necessary to upgrade the quality of such water to meet the prescribed water quality standards. It also provides that it is the policy of the government. Thus. the DBM shall then endeavor to provide an adequate budget to attain the noble objectives of RA 9275 in line with the country’s development objectives. among others. and to provide a comprehensive management program for water pollution focusing on pollution prevention. water supply. Now. the government agencies concerned shall undertake containment. We need not belabor the issue that their tasks include the cleanup of the Manila Bay.––Where the quality of water has deteriorated to a degree where its state will adversely affect its best usage. Do Secs. as to the crux of the petition. preservation. brackish.––It shall be the responsibility of the polluter to contain. and marine waters. not just specific pollution incidents? Secs. All told. 17 and 20 of the Environment Code Include Cleaning in General The disputed sections are quoted as follows: Section 17. to promote environmental strategies and use of appropriate economic instruments and of control mechanisms for the protection of water resources. In case of his failure to do so. removal and clean-up operations and expenses incurred in said operations shall be charged against the persons and/or entities responsible for such pollution. control. remove and clean-up water pollution incidents at his own expense. categorical. Clean-up Operations. and quality of life. public health. the aforementioned enabling laws and issuances are in themselves clear. 17 and 20 of the Environment Code encompass the cleanup of water pollution in general. to streamline processes and procedures in the prevention. to formulate a holistic national program of water quality management that recognizes that issues related to this management cannot be separated from concerns about water sources and ecological protection.

16 on the subject. Cleanup Operations. the amendment to Sec. Petitioners contend at every turn that Secs. 17 and 20 of PD 1152 merely direct the government agencies concerned to undertake containment. Expenses incurred in said operations shall be reimbursed by the persons found to have caused such pollution under proper administrative determination x x x. Clean-up Operations [refer] to activities conducted in removing the pollutants discharged or spilled in water to restore it to pre-spill condition. which defines the terms “cleanup operations” and “accidental spills. shall undertake containment. The amendatory Sec.––Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 15 and 26 hereof.When the Clean Water Act (RA 9275) took effect. They aver that the twin provisions would have to be read alongside the succeeding Sec. as opposed to cleanup in general. any person who causes pollution in or pollutes water bodies in excess of the applicable and prevailing standards shall be responsible to contain. As may be noted. That in the event emergency cleanup operations are necessary and the polluter fails to immediately undertake the same. Pushing the point further. 62(g) and (h). Petitioners proffer the argument that Secs. Cleanup Operations.” which are situations that presuppose the occurrence of specific. Reimbursements of the cost incurred shall be made to the Water Quality Management Fund or to such other funds where said disbursements were sourced. removal. and cleaning operations. the [DENR] in coordination with other government agencies concerned. removal and cleanup operations. They maintain that the application of said Sec. 62(g) requires “cleanup operations” to restore the body of water to pre-spill condition. its Sec. which means that there must have been a specific . remove and clean up any pollution incident at his own expense to the extent that the same water bodies have been rendered unfit for utilization and beneficial use: Provided. 20 of the Environment Code is more apparent than real since the amendment. h. 17 and 20 of the Environment Code concern themselves only with the matter of cleaning up in specific pollution incidents. 20) of the Environment Code (PD 1152). to be operational. 16. Sec. 20 is limited only to “water pollution incidents.” as follows: g. they argue that the aforequoted Sec. removal. amended the counterpart provision (Sec. Accidental Spills [refer] to spills of oil or other hazardous substances in water that result from accidents such as collisions and groundings. merely consists in the designation of the DENR as lead agency in the cleanup operations. 16 of RA 9275 reads: SEC. 17 of PD 1152 continues. isolated pollution events requiring the corresponding containment. however. insofar as it is relevant to this case. and cleaning operations of a specific polluted portion or portions of the body of water concerned.

cannot . respondents assert that Sec. Assuming. commands concerned government agencies. 20 to the containment. said Sec. has contributed to the worsening water quality of the Manila Bay. the complementary Sec. far from being a delimiting provision. however. 62(g). the underlying duty to upgrade the quality of water is not conditional on the occurrence of any pollution incident. 62(h). In such instance. Contrary to petitioners’ posture. 17 in relation to Sec. To respondents. Petitioners’ assertion. 17 of the Environment Code comes into play and the specific duties of the agencies to clean up come in even if there are no pollution incidents staring at them. 62(g). even expanded the coverage of Sec. as couched. in fact even enlarged the operational scope of Sec. 17 requires them to act even in the absence of a specific pollution incident. coupled with their narrow reading of their respective mandated roles. 62(g). in fact. removal. as mentioned in Sec. respondents argue that petitioners erroneously read Sec. and cleaning operations when a specific pollution incident occurs. and cleanup operations for accidental spills only. indicates that it is properly applicable to a specific situation in which the pollution is caused by polluters who fail to clean up the mess they left behind. Respondents. that they have to perform cleanup operations in the Manila Bay only when there is a water pollution incident and the erring polluters do not undertake the containment. respondents assert. For another.” In fine. to stress.” This section. 17 is not hobbled by such limiting definition. emphasize that Sec. the concerned government agencies shall undertake the cleanup work for the polluters’ account. 20 of the Environment Code. as long as water quality “has deteriorated to a degree where its state will adversely affect its best usage. removal. that petitioners are correct in saying that the cleanup coverage of Sec. when appropriate. is quite off mark. As earlier discussed. a perusal of Sec. thus. 20 of PD 1152 is constricted by the definition of the phrase “cleanup operations” embodied in Sec. not even in the chapter where said section is found. the phrases “cleanup operations” and “accidental spills” do not appear in said Sec. Petitioners. Sec. 20. As a counterpoint.incident of either intentional or accidental spillage of oil or other hazardous substances. Respondents are correct. 20 of PD 1152. 17 does not in any way state that the government agencies concerned ought to confine themselves to the containment. petitioners’ parochial view on environmental issues. 62(g). 62(g) as delimiting the application of Sec. For one thing. “to take such measures as may be necessary to meet the prescribed water quality standards. 20. As pointed out. and cleanup operations. 17. Sec. by including accidental spills as among the water pollution incidents contemplated in Sec. On the contrary. Respondents explain that without its Sec. removal. PD 1152 may have indeed covered only pollution accumulating from the day-to-day operations of businesses around the Manila Bay and other sources of pollution that slowly accumulated in the bay.

In this regard. specifically adverts to “any person who causes pollution in or pollutes water bodies. Sec. or clean up a given water pollution incident. 16 of RA 9275. It is imperative then that the wastes and contaminants found in the rivers. what the CA said with respect to the impasse over Secs. Thus. the Manila Bay water quality 35 . 16 of RA 9275 on the pretext that their cleanup mandate depends on the happening of a specific pollution incident. In this situation. 20 of PD 1152 mentions “water pollution incidents” which may be caused by polluters in the waters of the Manila Bay itself or by polluters in adjoining lands and in water bodies or waterways that empty into the bay. 17 and 20 of PD 1152 is at once valid as it is practical. Otherwise. of the Manila Bay polluters has been few and far between. Hence. The preservation of the water quality of the bay after the rehabilitation process is as important as the cleaning phase. such that the contaminants eventually end up in the bay. And such impossibility extends to pinpointing with reasonable certainty who the polluters are. 20 of PD 1152 or Sec. This is better served by making Secs. for. 20 is correct. In this kind of setting. 17 & 20 of general application rather than limiting them to specific pollution incidents. if any. Not to be ignored of course is the reality that the government agencies concerned are so undermanned that it would be almost impossible to apprehend the numerous polluters of the Manila Bay. 20 of PD 1152. they seem to have overlooked the fact that the pollution of the Manila Bay is of such magnitude and scope that it is well-nigh impossible to draw the line between a specific and a general pollution incident. covers for all intents and purposes a general cleanup situation. any cleanup effort would just be a futile. remove. inland bays. and other bodies of water be stopped from reaching the Manila Bay.” which may refer to an individual or an establishment that pollutes the land mass near the Manila Bay or the waterways.” 35[35] Granting arguendo that petitioners’ position thus described vis-à-vis the implementation of Sec. in no time at all. Sec. We note that Sec. The cleanup and/or restoration of the Manila Bay is only an aspect and the initial stage of the long-term solution.plausibly invoke and hide behind Sec. The appellate court wrote: “PD 1152 aims to introduce a comprehensive program of environmental protection and management. 16 of RA 9275. It may perhaps not be amiss to say that the apprehension. on the other hand. cosmetic exercise. practically nobody has been required to contain. previously Sec. it behooves the Government to step in and undertake cleanup operations. the water pollution incidents are so numerous and involve nameless and faceless polluters that they can validly be categorized as beyond the specific pollution incident level.

RA 9275. and to enjoin them to perform. into the major rivers and eventually the Manila Bay. the Talisay (Bataan) River. under extraordinary circumstances.would again deteriorate below the ideal minimum standards set by PD 1152. the National Capital Region (NCR) (Parañaque-Zapote. In India. river banks. Under what other judicial discipline describes as “continuing mandamus. the Meycuayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers. dirt. their mandates and duties towards cleaning up the Manila Bay and preserving the quality of its water to the ideal level. the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers. And if the issue of illegal or unauthorized structures is not seriously addressed with sustained resolve. the Imus (Cavite) River. Las Piñas) Rivers.37[37] The Court can take judicial notice of the presence of shanties and other unauthorized structures which do not have septic tanks along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers. and other relevant laws. and other minor rivers and connecting waterways.” 36[36] the Court may. these unauthorized structures would be on top of the list. the doctrine of continuing mandamus was used to enforce directives of the court to clean up the length of the Ganges River from industrial and municipal pollution. the Laguna De Bay. The DENR Secretary said as much. with all the accompanying filth. It thus behooves the Court to put the heads of the petitioner-department-agencies and the bureaus and offices under them on continuing notice about. and garbage. issue directives with the end in view of ensuring that its decision would not be set to naught by administrative inaction or indifference. If there is one factor responsible for the pollution of the major river systems and the Manila Bay. 38[38] 36 37 38 . then practically all efforts to cleanse these important bodies of water would be for naught. and esteros which discharge their waters.

and the environment. the results of which are embodied in the The Garbage Book. No person shall be allowed to stay in this zone longer than what is necessary for recreation. and connecting waterways. non-complying establishments shall be shut down or asked to transfer their operations. As there reported. (Emphasis added. floatage. fishing or salvage or to build structures of any kind. The DILG and the concerned LGUs. aquatic life. the necessary waste water treatment facilities and infrastructure to prevent their industrial discharge. As early as 2003.Giving urgent dimension to the necessity of removing these illegal structures is Art. The high level of fecal coliform confirms the presence of a large amount of human waste in the dump sites and surrounding areas. 51 reads: The banks of rivers and streams and the shores of the seas and lakes throughout their entire length and within a zone of three (3) meters in urban areas . which is presumably generated by households that lack alternatives to sanitation. the duty to see to it that non-complying industrial establishments set up. we cite the Asian Development Bank-commissioned study on the garbage problem in Metro Manila. At this juncture. have.) Judicial notice may likewise be taken of factories and other industrial establishments standing along or near the banks of the Pasig River. along their margins. are subject to the easement of public use in the interest of recreation. To say that Manila Bay needs rehabilitation is an understatement. 39 . other major rivers. Art. from flowing into the Pasig River. After such period. floatage. other major rivers. some of these establishments undoubtedly contribute to the pollution of the Pasig River and waterways. fishing and salvage. and if only to dramatize the urgency of the need for petitioners-agencies to comply with their statutory tasks. within a reasonable period. and connecting waterways. 2. But while they may not be treated as unauthorized constructions. navigation.generate an alarming quantity of lead and leachate or liquid run-off. Catmon and Rodriquez dumpsites . the garbage crisis in the metropolitan area is as alarming as it is shocking. twenty (20) meters in agricultural areas and forty (40) meters in forest areas.the Payatas. 39[39] which prohibits the building of structures within a given length along banks of rivers and other waterways. navigation. including their sewage waters. 51 of PD 1067 or the Water Code. three land-filled dumpsites in Metro Manila . Leachate are toxic liquids that flow along the surface and seep into the earth and poison the surface and groundwater that are used for drinking. accordingly. Some highlights of the report: 1.

37. time is of the essence. and unauthorized transport or dumping into sea waters of sewage or solid waste and of Secs. there is a need to set timetables for the performance and completion of the tasks. 27 of RA 9275. 2001 and the adverted grace period of five (5) years which ended on February 21. canals. Most of the deadly leachate. and the like.) RA 9003 took effect on February 15. like littering. noxious or harmful liquid. reproduced below: Sec. sufficient sanitary landfills should now more than ever be established as prescribed by the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003). Equally unabated are violations of Sec. Some sludge companies which do not have proper disposal facilities simply discharge sludge into the Metro Manila sewerage system that ends up in the Manila Bay.––No open dumps shall be established and operated. Prohibition against the Use of Open Dumps for Solid Waste . there are rampant and repeated violations of Sec. 2006 has come and gone. dumping of waste matters in roads. from any water. further that no controlled dumps shall be allowed (5) years following the effectivity of this Act .” In the light of the ongoing environmental degradation. but no single sanitary landfill which strictly complies with the prescribed standards under RA 9003 has yet been set up. open burning of solid waste. including LGUs which [constitute] the use of open dumps for solid waste. Particular note should be taken of the blatant violations by some LGUs and possibly the MMDA of Sec. which enjoins the pollution of water bodies. discharge of petroleum or residual products of petroleum of carbonaceous materials/substances [and other] radioactive. 37. be allowed after the effectivity of this Act: Provided. Indeed. and other public places. In addition. 4 and 102 of RA 8550 which proscribes the introduction by human or machine of substances to the aquatic environment including “dumping/disposal of waste and other marine litters. gaseous or solid substances. the Court wishes to emphasize the extreme necessity for all concerned executive departments and agencies to immediately act and discharge their respective official duties and obligations. (Emphasis added.40[40] Given the above perspective. esteros. hence. 40 . disposal of infectious wastes from vessels. some of them as defined for them by law and the nature of their respective offices and mandates. operation of open dumps.3. land or air transport or other human-made structure. nor any practice or disposal of solid waste by any person. groundwater pollution. lead and other dangerous contaminants and possibly strains of pathogens seeps untreated into ground water and runs into the Marikina and Pasig River systems and Manila Bay. 48 of RA 9003.

and ad hoc measures is over. II of the 1987 Constitution. the Court stated that the right to a balanced and healthful ecology need not even be written in the Constitution for it is assumed. RA 9003 is a sweeping piece of legislation enacted to radically transform and improve waste management. and buckle down to work before the problem at hand becomes unmanageable. Art. would put their minds to these tasks and take responsibility. playground. This means that the State. which explicitly provides that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. could only be accomplished if those mandated. and (2) that the cleanup of the bay is a discretionary duty. Jr. 74944 and the September 13. WHEREFORE. to exist from the inception of mankind and it is an issue of transcendental importance with intergenerational implications.R. with the help and cooperation of all civic-minded individuals. real or imaginary. they must perform their basic functions in cleaning up and rehabilitating the Manila Bay. daunting as they may be. 41 . and as a historical landmark cannot be over-emphasized. The September 28. 16. Petitioners must transcend their limitations.The importance of the Manila Bay as a sea resource. 2005 Decision of the CA in CA-G. We are disturbed by petitioners’ hiding behind two untenable claims: (1) that there ought to be a specific pollution incident before they are required to act. The era of delays. procrastination. But the tasks ahead. 2002 Decision of the RTC in Civil Case No. has to take the lead in the preservation and protection of the Manila Bay. they and the men and women representing them cannot escape their obligation to future generations of Filipinos to keep the waters of the Manila Bay clean and clear as humanly as possible. 41[41] Even assuming the absence of a categorical legal provision specifically prodding petitioners to clean up the bay. like other civil and political rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. the petition is DENIED. So it was that in Oposa v. 76528 and SP No. It is not yet too late in the day to restore the Manila Bay to its former splendor and bring back the plants and sea life that once thrived in its blue waters. It implements Sec. Factoran. we must reiterate that different government agencies and instrumentalities cannot shirk from their mandates. through petitioners. CV No. Thus. Anything less would be a betrayal of the trust reposed in them.

restoration. rehabilitate. Pampanga. Las Piñas) Rivers. the Imus (Cavite) River. and Bataan to inspect all factories. the Talisay (Bataan) River. under pain of closure or imposition of fines and other sanctions. The fallo of the RTC Decision shall now read: WHEREFORE. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the abovenamed defendant-government agencies to clean up. the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers. the NCR (Parañaque-Zapote. Rizal. and the lands abutting the bay. in exercising the President’s power of general supervision and its duty to promulgate guidelines in establishing waste management programs under Sec. management. and conservation of the Manila Bay at the earliest possible time. and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources. and restore and maintain its waters to SB level (Class B sea waters per Water Classification Tables under DENR Administrative Order No. esteros. commercial establishments. 4 of EO 192. and private homes along the banks of the major river systems in their respective areas of jurisdiction. waterways. 43 of the Philippine Environment Code (PD 1152). 42 . and the Manila Bay. Cavite. assigning the DENR as the primary agency responsible for the conservation. the Laguna De Bay. ordinances. designating the DENR as the primary government agency responsible for its enforcement and implementation. and other minor rivers and waterways that eventually discharge water into the Manila Bay. and other forms of contact recreation. 19 of RA 9275. In particular: (1) Pursuant to Sec. these LGUs shall be ordered to require non-complying establishments and homes to set up said facilities or septic tanks within a reasonable time to prevent industrial wastes. and human wastes from flowing into these rivers.1851-99 are AFFIRMED but with MODIFICATIONS in view of subsequent developments or supervening events in the case. 34 [1990]) to make them fit for swimming. the DENR is directed to fully implement its Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy for the rehabilitation. It is ordered to call regular coordination meetings with concerned government departments and agencies to ensure the successful implementation of the aforesaid plan of action in accordance with its indicated completion schedules. and Sec. and preserve Manila Bay. (2) Pursuant to Title XII (Local Government) of the Administrative Code of 1987 and Sec. shall direct all LGUs in Metro Manila. and rules and regulations. development. skin-diving. sewage water. to determine whether they have wastewater treatment facilities or hygienic septic tanks as prescribed by existing laws. Laguna. 25 of the Local Government Code of 1991. such as but not limited to the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers. Bulacan. the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers. If none be found.42[42] the DILG.

and maintain sewerage and sanitation facilities and the efficient and safe collection. 65 of RA 8550. (4) Pursuant to RA 9275.(3) As mandated by Sec. It is also directed to assist the LGUs in Metro Manila. 44[44] the LWUA. in coordination with each other. Cavite. Rizal. and Cavite where needed at the earliest possible time. install. 43[43] the MWSS is directed to provide. install. is ordered to improve and restore the marine life of the Manila Bay. and maintain the necessary adequate waste water treatment facilities in Metro Manila. and Bataan where needed at the earliest possible time. (6) The PCG. and the PNP Maritime Group. using recognized methods. operate. operate. 124 of RA 8550. 4 and 6 of PD 979. 45[45] the DA. Cavite. RA 8550. shall apprehend violators of PD 979. through the BFAR. Laguna. through the local water districts and in coordination with the DENR. Bulacan. is ordered to provide. Pampanga. Pampanga. Rizal. Bulacan. and disposal of sewage in the provinces of Laguna. (5) Pursuant to Sec. in accordance with Sec. treatment. pursuant to Secs. and Bataan in developing. 8 of RA 9275. 43 44 45 . and other existing laws and regulations designed to prevent marine pollution in the Manila Bay. the fisheries and aquatic resources in the Manila Bay.

as the lead agency and implementor of programs and projects for flood control projects and drainage services in Metro Manila. the Laguna De Bay. the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers. the Talisay (Bataan) River. as directed by Art. In addition. On matters within its territorial jurisdiction and in connection with the discharge of its duties on the maintenance of sanitary landfills and like undertakings. and other agencies. Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). and connecting waterways and esteros in Metro Manila. 27 of RA 9275 (the Clean Water Act). affected LGUs. the PPA is ordered to immediately adopt such measures to prevent the discharge and dumping of solid and liquid wastes and other ship-generated wastes into the Manila Bay waters from vessels docked at ports and apprehend the violators. Cavite. 2 and 6-c of EO 513 46[46] and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. 47[47] Sec. the NCR (Parañaque-Zapote. it is also ordered to cause the apprehension and filing of the appropriate criminal cases against violators of the respective penal provisions of RA 9003. Las Piñas) Rivers. and Laguna. the MMDA is ordered to establish. The DPWH. Pampanga. in coordination with the DPWH. as prescribed by RA 9003. and other existing laws on pollution. and other encroachments built in breach of RA 7279 and other applicable laws along the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers. 76 of PD 1067 and Sec. operate. in coordination with the DILG. constructions. 8 of RA 9275. shall remove and demolish all structures. and other rivers. DILG. the Imus (Cavite) River. within one (1) year from finality of this Decision. affected LGUs. and other applicable laws along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers. connecting waterways. PNP Maritime Group. shall dismantle and remove all structures. (8) The MMDA. determine if all licensed septic and sludge companies have the proper 46 47 . Bataan. as the principal implementor of programs and projects for flood control services in the rest of the country more particularly in Bulacan. and other concerned government agencies. and other encroachments established or built in violation of RA 7279. HUDCC. and maintain a sanitary landfill. PNP Maritime Group. within a period of one (1) year from finality of this Decision. and esteros that discharge wastewater into the Manila Bay. (9) The DOH shall.(7) Pursuant to Secs. constructions.

PRESBITERO J. LWUA. DBM. and Sec. waste management. and also of MWSS. DPWH. SO ORDERED. through them. DOH. VELASCO. 53 of PD 1152. DILG. (12) The heads of petitioners-agencies MMDA. 118 of RA 8550. if found to be non-complying. their parents and friends. (11) The DBM shall consider incorporating an adequate budget in the General Appropriations Act of 2010 and succeeding years to cover the expenses relating to the cleanup. 48[48] Sec. and preservation of the water quality of the Manila Bay. 56 of RA 9003. Associate Justice WE CONCUR: 48 49 .” shall. 49[49] the DepEd shall integrate lessons on pollution prevention. JR. preservation. The DOH shall give the companies. and like subjects in the school curricula of all levels to inculcate in the minds and hearts of students and. DENR. PNP Maritime Group. each submit to the Court a quarterly progressive report of the activities undertaken in accordance with this Decision. restoration.facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming from septic tanks. in line with the country’s development objective to attain economic growth in a manner consistent with the protection. DepEd. No costs. DA. (10) Pursuant to Sec. in line with the principle of “continuing mandamus. PCG. a reasonable time within which to set up the necessary facilities under pain of cancellation of its environmental sanitation clearance. and PPA. the importance of their duty toward achieving and maintaining a balanced and healthful ecosystem in the Manila Bay and the entire Philippine archipelago. from finality of this Decision. environmental protection. and revival of our marine waters.

PUNO Chief Justice .REYNATO S.

Petitioners. and other forms of contact recreation. The fallo of the RTC Decision shall now read: WHEREFORE. Las Piñas) Rivers. Nos. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES. 2002 Decision of the RTC in Civil Case No. the Navotas-Malabon-TullahanTenejeros Rivers. •(2) Pursuant to Title XII (Local Government) of the Administrative Code of 1987 and Sec. the Imus (Cavite) River. 25 of the Local Government Code of 1991. and DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS. designating the DENR as the primary government agency responsible for its enforcement and implementation. and JAIME AGUSTIN R. MANUEL SANTOS. this Court rendered a Decision in G. and Bataan to inspect all factories. management. rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay in their different capacities. Laguna. and restore and maintain its waters to SB level (Class B sea waters per Water Classification Tables under DENR Administrative Order No. 2011 METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY. MA. It is ordered to call regular coordination meetings with concerned government departments and agencies to ensure the successful implementation of the aforesaid plan of action in accordance with its indicated completion schedules. SARAH JOELLE LINTAG. and preserve Manila Bay. The fallo reads: WHEREFORE. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. 2008. ILAS. CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF MANILA BAY. Cavite. PAUL DENNIS QUINTERO. vs. PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD. and other minor rivers and waterways that . the petition is DENIED. the DILG. 171947-48 ordering petitioners to clean up. such as but not limited to the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers. Nos. the Laguna De Bay. DINAH DELA PEÑA.. VENICE SEGARRA. shall direct all LGUs in Metro Manila. skin-diving. CULTURE AND SPORTS. Rizal. and Sec. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources. 34 [1990]) to make them fit for swimming. the DENR is directed to fully implement its Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy for the rehabilitation. FRITZIE TANGKIA. OPOSA. the NCR (Parañaque-Zapote. FELIMON SANTIAGUEL. FATIMA QUITAIN. The September 28.G.R. HANNIBAL AUGUSTUS BOBIS. Pampanga. JR. 43 of the Philippine Environment Code (PD 1152). RESOLUTION VELASCO.: On December 18. 74944 and the September 13. DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT. J. the Talisay (Bataan) River.R.. commercial establishments.Respondents. 171947-48 February 15. VICTORIA LLENOS. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the abovenamed defendant-government agencies to clean up. in exercising the President’s power of general supervision and its duty to promulgate guidelines in establishing waste management programs under Sec.1 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. 19 of RA 9275. 2005 Decision of the CA in CA-G. development. 4 of EO 192. restoration.R. and private homes along the banks of the major river systems in their respective areas of jurisdiction. DONNA CALOZA. and conservation of the Manila Bay at the earliest possible time. 76528 and SP No. CV No. 1851-99 are AFFIRMED but with MODIFICATIONS in view of subsequent developments or supervening events in the case. the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers. In particular: •(1) Pursuant to Sec. rehabilitate. Bulacan. assigning the DENR as the primary agency responsible for the conservation. JR. SABINIANO ALBARRACIN. represented and joined by DIVINA V. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE MARITIME GROUP.

and Cavite where needed at the earliest possible time. through the BFAR. these LGUs shall be ordered to require non-complying establishments and homes to set up said facilities or septic tanks within a reasonable time to prevent industrial wastes. constructions. ordinances. The DPWH. 65 of RA 8550. in coordination with the DPWH. through the local water districts and in coordination with the DENR. and maintain the necessary adequate waste water treatment facilities in Metro Manila. and other applicable laws along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers. affected LGUs. 4 and 6 of PD 979. is ordered to improve and restore the marine life of the Manila Bay. Laguna. •(3) As mandated by Sec. under pain of closure or imposition of fines and other sanctions. pursuant to Secs. Bataan. shall remove and demolish all structures. and rules and regulations. and Laguna. 8 of RA 9275. using recognized methods. the DA. Cavite. install. operate. PNP Maritime Group. Cavite. connecting waterways. treatment. in coordination with the DILG. esteros. It is also directed to assist the LGUs in Metro Manila. within a period of one (1) year from finality of this Decision. Pampanga. shall dismantle and remove all structures. Pampanga. Rizal. to determine whether they have wastewater treatment facilities or hygienic septic tanks as prescribed by existing laws. On matters within its territorial jurisdiction and in connection with the discharge of its duties on the maintenance of sanitary landfills and like undertakings. •(8) The MMDA. and the Manila Bay. is ordered to provide. in coordination with each other. HUDCC. Bulacan. shall apprehend violators of PD 979. Cavite. and Bataan in developing. the MMDA is ordered to establish. the LWUA. constructions. and other encroachments built in breach of RA 7279 and other applicable laws along the MeycauayanMarilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers. waterways. and other rivers. DILG. in accordance with Sec. •(5) Pursuant to Sec. •In addition. and other agencies. Las Piñas) Rivers. the MWSS is directed to provide. Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). •(6) The PCG. the NCR (Parañaque-Zapote. operate. and other concerned government agencies. and human wastes from flowing into these rivers. Bulacan. the PPA is ordered to immediately adopt such measures to prevent the discharge and dumping of solid and liquid wastes and other ship-generated wastes into the Manila Bay waters from vessels docked at ports and apprehend the violators. •(4) Pursuant to RA 9275. the Laguna De Bay. and Bataan where needed at the earliest possible time. the NavotasMalabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers. as the lead agency and implementor of programs and projects for flood control projects and drainage services in Metro Manila. •(7) Pursuant to Secs. affected LGUs. PNP Maritime Group. it is also ordered to cause the apprehension and filing of the appropriate criminal cases against violators of the respective . If none be found. RA 8550. and the PNP Maritime Group. and esteros that discharge wastewater into the Manila Bay. and other encroachments established or built in violation of RA 7279. as prescribed by RA 9003. sewage water. and maintain a sanitary landfill.eventually discharge water into the Manila Bay. Pampanga. and the lands abutting the bay. install. and other existing laws and regulations designed to prevent marine pollution in the Manila Bay. the Imus (Cavite) River. and disposal of sewage in the provinces of Laguna. 124 of RA 8550. the Talisay (Bataan) River. operate. and connecting waterways and esteros in Metro Manila. Rizal. as the principal implementor of programs and projects for flood control services in the rest of the country more particularly in Bulacan. 2 and 6-c of EO 513 and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. the fisheries and aquatic resources in the Manila Bay. and maintain sewerage and sanitation facilities and the efficient and safe collection.

27 of RA 9275 (the Clean Water Act). Effect of judgments or final orders. the importance of their duty toward achieving and maintaining a balanced and healthful ecosystem in the Manila Bay and the entire Philippine archipelago. because the execution of the Decision is but an integral part of the adjudicative function of the Court. and revival of our marine waters. if found to be non-complying. SO ORDERED. 2008 Decision. their parents and friends. environmental protection. may be as follows: . •(11) The DBM shall consider incorporating an adequate budget in the General Appropriations Act of 2010 and succeeding years to cover the expenses relating to the cleanup. The case is now in the execution phase of the final and executory December 18. PNP Maritime Group. DPWH. DepEd. DBM. In the absence of specific completion periods. PCG. and like subjects in the school curricula of all levels to inculcate in the minds and hearts of students and. a reasonable time within which to set up the necessary facilities under pain of cancellation of its environmental sanitation clearance. and preservation of the water quality of the Manila Bay. •(12) The heads of petitioners-agencies MMDA. and other existing laws on pollution. determine if all licensed septic and sludge companies have the proper facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming from septic tanks. and PPA. DILG." shall. the Committee recommended that time frames be set for the agencies to perform their assigned tasks. This view is misplaced. waste management. as directed by Art. The DOH shall give the companies. 53 of PD 1152. VIII of the Constitution. The issuance of subsequent resolutions by the Court is simply an exercise of judicial power under Art. Section 47 of Rule 39 reads: Section 47. preservation. through them. 118 of RA 8550. the DepEd shall integrate lessons on pollution prevention. 8 of RA 9275. None of the agencies ever questioned the power of the Court to implement the December 18. 56 of RA 9003. having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or final order. each submit to the Court a quarterly progressive report of the activities undertaken in accordance with this Decision. 2008 Decision nor has any of them raised the alleged encroachment by the Court over executive functions. This may be viewed as an encroachment over the powers and functions of the Executive Branch headed by the President of the Philippines. The Manila Bay Advisory Committee was created to receive and evaluate the quarterly progressive reports on the activities undertaken by the agencies in accordance with said decision and to monitor the execution phase. •(10) Pursuant to Sec. and Sec. DA. in line with the country’s development objective to attain economic growth in a manner consistent with the protection. •(9) The DOH shall. While additional activities are required of the agencies like submission of plans of action. LWUA. DOH. within one (1) year from finality of this Decision. restoration. data or status reports. in line with the principle of "continuing mandamus.penal provisions of RA 9003. DENR. 76 of PD 1067 and Sec. these directives are but part and parcel of the execution stage of a final decision under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. Sec. from finality of this Decision. Sec.––The effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a court of the Philippines. The government agencies did not file any motion for reconsideration and the Decision became final in January 2009. and also of MWSS.

or which was actually and necessarily included therein or necessary thereto. Acting on the recommendation of the Manila Bay Advisory Committee. The DENR is ordered to submit summarized data on the overall quality of Manila Bay waters for all four quarters of 2010 on or before June 30. and the court may. as lead agency in the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. (Emphasis supplied. the submission of periodic reports is sanctioned by Secs. Several problems were encountered by the Manila Bay Advisory Committee. (Emphasis supplied. the Court hereby resolves to ORDER the following: (1) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). 7 and 8. certain directives have to be issued by the Court to address the said concerns. any activity that is needed to fully implement a final judgment is necessarily encompassed by said judgment. the Court exercises continuing jurisdiction over them until full execution of the judgment. 7. .) It is clear that the final judgment includes not only what appears upon its face to have been so adjudged but also those matters "actually and necessarily included therein or necessary thereto. Judgment. Upon full satisfaction of the judgment. that only is deemed to have been adjudged in a former judgment or final order which appears upon its face to have been so adjudged. evaluate and monitor compliance. a final return of the writ shall be made to the court by the respondent. 2 An evaluation of the quarterly progressive reports has shown that (1) there are voluminous quarterly progressive reports that are being submitted. the satisfaction of judgment shall be entered in the court docket. Return of the writ. The petitioner may submit its comments or observations on the execution of the judgment.) With the final and executory judgment in MMDA. the writ of continuing mandamus issued in MMDA means that until petitioner-agencies have shown full compliance with the Court’s orders. rehabilitation and preservation activities. If the court finds that the judgment has been fully implemented. shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. (3) as yet no definite deadlines have been set by petitioner DENR as to petitioner-agencies’ timeframe for their respective duties.––If warranted. (2) petitioner-agencies do not have a uniform manner of reporting their cleanup.––The periodic reports submitted by the respondent detailing compliance with the judgment shall be contained in partial returns of the writ. 2011 the updated Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy. Moreover. Sec. We shall now proceed to the recommendation of the Manila Bay Advisory Committee. and (5) some agencies have encountered difficulties in complying with the Court’s directives. 2011." Certainly. The court shall require the respondent to submit periodic reports detailing the progress and execution of the judgment. Rule 8 of the Rules of Procedure for Environmental cases: Sec. There being no encroachment over executive functions to speak of. the court shall grant the privilege of the writ of continuing mandamus requiring respondent to perform an act or series of acts until the judgment is fully satisfied and to grant such other reliefs as may be warranted resulting from the wrongful or illegal acts of the respondent. (4) as of June 2010 there has been a change in leadership in both the national and local levels. In order to implement the afore-quoted Decision. 8.xxxx (c) In any other litigation between the same parties of their successors in interest. by itself or through a commissioner or the appropriate government agency.

The report shall contain monitoring data on the marine life in said areas. the LGU officials shall take appropriate action to ensure compliance by noncomplying factories. ordinances. copy furnished the concerned environmental agency.) within their respective jurisdictions. and the completion period for said undertakings. the Governors of Rizal. and the Mayors of all the cities and towns in said provinces to inspect all factories. 2011. Rizal. Rizal. . Pampanga and Bataan that generate toxic and hazardous waste on or before September 30. it shall submit its five-year plan to restore and improve the marine life in Manila Bay. the Imus (Cavite) River. Bulacan. which shall not go beyond 2037. be it the local DENR office or the Laguna Lake Development Authority. through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. commercial establishments. Within the same period. install. 2011 the list of areas in Metro Manila. On or before June 30. the National Capital Region (Paranaque-Zapote. Cavite. Bulacan. shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. 2011 a report on areas in Manila Bay where marine life has to be restored or improved and the assistance it has extended to the LGUs in Metro Manila. The aforementioned governors and mayors shall submit to the DILG on or before December 31. Laguna. its future activities to assist the aforementioned LGUs for that purpose. 2011 to finish the inspection of said establishments and houses. Rizal and Cavite that do not have the necessary wastewater treatment facilities. (3) The MWSS shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers. 2011 its plan to provide. The DILG is required to submit a five-year plan of action that will contain measures intended to ensure compliance of all non-complying factories. and the Laguna De Bay––and other minor rivers and waterways within their jurisdiction that eventually discharge water into the Manila Bay and the lands abutting it. Cavite. the DILG and the mayors of all cities in Metro Manila shall consider providing land for the wastewater facilities of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) or its concessionaires (Maynilad and Manila Water. 2011. as prescribed by existing laws. 2011. 2011 their respective compliance reports which will contain the names and addresses or offices of the owners of all the non-complying factories. and private homes. Laguna. Bulacan. Laguna. the MWSS is further required to have its two concessionaires submit a report on the amount collected as sewerage fees in their respective areas of operation as of December 31. to determine if they have wastewater treatment facilities and/or hygienic septic tanks. the Talisay (Bataan) River. the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall order the Mayors of all cities in Metro Manila. 2010. Pampanga and Bataan.The DENR is further ordered to submit the names and addresses of persons and companies in Metro Manila. Las Pinas) Rivers. rules and regulations. Within the same period. Inc. On or before June 30. (2) On or before June 30. the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers. (4) The Local Water Utilities Administration is ordered to submit on or before September 30. commercial establishments and private homes along the banks of the major river systems––such as but not limited to the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers. In case of non-compliance. (5) The Department of Agriculture (DA). operate and maintain sewerage and sanitation facilities in said cities and towns and the completion period for said works. Said local government unit (LGU) officials are given up to September 30. commercial establishments and private homes. rules and regulations requiring the construction or installment of wastewater treatment facilities or hygienic septic tanks. 2011. the concessionaires of the MWSS shall submit their plans and projects for the construction of wastewater treatment facilities in all the aforesaid areas and the completion period for said facilities. commercial establishments and private homes with said law. 2020. Cavite. which shall be fully implemented by December 31. Pampanga and Bataan in developing the fisheries and aquatic resources in Manila Bay.

the treatment undertaken and the disposal site for said wastes. liquid and other wastes collected from said ships. constructions and encroachments. 979 or the Marine Pollution Decree of 1976 and RA 9993 or the Philippine Coast Guard Law of 2009 and other pertinent laws and regulations to prevent marine pollution in Manila Bay and to ensure the successful prosecution of violators. shall submit a report on the location of all open and controlled dumps in Rizal. Also. as Chairperson of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC). The PPA is further ordered to include in its report the names. the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers. own and occupy houses. (RA) 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 and other pertinent laws. 2015. shall submit a report on whether or not the following landfills strictly comply with Secs. 41 and 42 of RA 9003 on the establishment and operation of sanitary landfills. 2011. On or before June 30. On or before June 30. in his capacity as NSWMC Chairperson. 2011. 2012. and its plan for the closure of these open and controlled dumps to be accomplished not later than December 31. Laguna. which shall be fully implemented not later than December 31. make and capacity of the ships serviced by it since August 2003 up to the present date. The MMDA is ordered to submit a status report. 2011. make and capacity of the ships that dock in PPA ports. as well as the completion dates for said activities. 2011 its five-year plan of action on the measures and activities they intend to undertake to apprehend the violators of Presidential Decree No. The Philippine Coast Guard shall likewise submit on or before June 30. (8) The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. the number of days the ship was at sea with the corresponding number of passengers and crew per trip. the DENR Secretary. (6) The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) shall incorporate in its quarterly reports the list of violators it has apprehended and the status of their cases. Las Piñas) Rivers. the volume of solid. Cavite.3 pursuant to Secs. 2010. on or before June 30. 2006.The DA shall submit to the Court on or before September 30. the NCR (Parañaque-Zapote. 2011. 2011 the names and addresses of the informal settlers in Metro Manila who. The PPA should include in its report the activities of its concessionaire that collects and disposes of the solid and liquid wastes and other ship-generated wastes. 2010 on the pollution loading into the Manila Bay system from agricultural and livestock sources. the DENR Secretary. as of December 31. within thirty (30) days from receipt of this Resolution. ordinances and regulations to prevent marine pollution in Manila Bay and to ensure the successful prosecution of violators. On or before June 30. 2011 the measures it intends to undertake to implement its compliance with paragraph 7 of the dispositive portion of the MMDA Decision and the completion dates of such measures. the dates the ships docked at PPA ports. on the establishment of a sanitary landfill facility for Metro Manila in compliance with the standards under RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. structures. (7) The Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group shall submit on or before June 30. 2011 its fiveyear plan of action on the measures and activities it intends to undertake to apprehend the violators of Republic Act No. and connecting waterways and esteros. constructions and other encroachments established or built along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers. to wit: National Capital Region . Pampanga and Bataan. the MMDA shall submit a report of the location of open and controlled dumps in Metro Manila whose operations are illegal after February 21. 2011 the baseline data as of September 30. The PPA shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. 36 and 37 of RA 9003. which shall state the names. in violation of RA 7279 and other applicable laws. the MMDA shall submit its plan for the removal of said informal settlers and the demolition of the aforesaid houses. Bulacan. structures.

Navotas City •2. in breach of RA 7279 and other applicable laws. Bulacan •5. Mapalad. Laguna. San Pedro. the Laguna de Bay. the Talisay (Bataan) River. 2012. structures. Pampanga. Rizal (ISWIMS) •13. The DOH shall implement rules and regulations on Environmental Sanitation Clearances and shall require companies to procure a license to operate from the DOH. connecting waterways and esteros that discharge wastewater into the Manila Bay. Laguna •10. and other rivers. The DOH and DENR-Environmental Management Bureau shall develop a toxic and hazardous waste management system by June 30. Brgy. Laguna •9. own or occupy houses. San Mateo. Payatas Controlled Dumpsite. . Tarlac Special Economic Zone Region IV-A •8. In its quarterly report for the last quarter of 2010 and thereafter. Clark Capas. Kalayaan (Longos). Nino. Brgy. constructions and encroachments. 2011 the names and addresses of the owners of septic and sludge companies including those that do not have the proper facilities for the treatment and disposal of fecal sludge and sewage coming from septic tanks. Minuyan. On or before June 30. Brgy. San Pablo City. On or before June 30. San Jose del Monte City. Sitio Tiakad. San Antonio (Pilotage SLF). Rodriguez (Montalban). Pintong Bukawe. and other encroachments built along the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) Rivers. Bulacan •4. and Bataan shall submit the names and addresses of the informal settlers in their respective areas who. Navotas SLF (PhilEco). constructions.•1. Brgy. MMDA shall report on the apprehensions for violations of the penal provisions of RA 9003. the Imus (Cavite) River. Norzagaray. Sto. Laguna •11. the DPWH and the aforesaid LGUs shall jointly submit their plan for the removal of said informal settlers and the demolition of the aforesaid structures. as of September 30. as well as the completion dates for such activities which shall be implemented not later than December 31. Rizal (SMSLFDC) On or before June 30. Brgy. Tanza (New Site). San Mateo. 2011. Bulacan. Santa Rosa. Nueva Ecija •7. Brgy. 2010. Brgy. Barangay Payatas. Sub-zone Kalangitan. Matictic. Bulacan •6. 2010 vis-à-vis the average amount of garbage disposed monthly in landfills and dumpsites. Norzagaray. 2011. 2011 which will implement segregation of hospital/toxic/hazardous wastes and prevent mixing with municipal solid waste. 2011. Brgy. the MMDA and the seventeen (17) LGUs in Metro Manila are ordered to jointly submit a report on the average amount of garbage collected monthly per district in all the cities in Metro Manila from January 2009 up to December 31. Quezon City Region III •3. Cavite. Morong. (9) The Department of Health (DOH) shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. Rizal •12. RA 9275 and other laws on pollution for the said period. San Isidro. Brgy. Sitio Lukutan. the DPWH and the LGUs in Rizal. Sitio Coral.

SERENO Associate Justice CE RTIF ICATIO N Pursuant to Section 13. 2011 a report on the specific subjects on pollution prevention. SO ORDERED. The agencies may add other key performance indicators that they have identified. CARPIO Associate JusticeI join the dissent of J. VILLARAMA. Carpio ARTURO D. (11) All the agencies are required to submit their quarterly reports electronically using the forms below. waste management. Article VIII of the Constitution. PERALTA Associate JusticeLUCAS P. CORONA Chief Justice See dissenting opinion ANTONIO T. 2012. VELASCO. ABAD Associate JusticeMARTIN S. A. the DepEd shall also submit its plan of action to ensure compliance of all the schools under its supervision with respect to the integration of the aforementioned subjects in the school curricula which shall be fully implemented by June 30.1avvphi1 (10) The Department of Education (DepEd) shall submit to the Court on or before May 31. CORONA Chief Justice Footnotes . environmental protection. DEL CASTILLO Associate JusticeROBERTO A. NACHURA Associate JusticeTERESITA J. JR. Carpio CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate JusticeANTONIO EDUARDO B.On or before June 30. 2011. Associate Justice WE CONCUR: RENATO C. the DOH shall submit a plan of action to ensure that the said companies have proper disposal facilities and the completion dates of compliance. environmental laws and the like that it has integrated into the school curricula in all levels for the school year 2011-2012. PRESBITERO J. 2011. it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Resolution had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court. On or before June 30. JR. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO Associate JusticeI join the dissent of J. BERSAMIN Associate JusticeMARIANO C. Associate JusticeJOSE PORTUGAL PEREZ Associate JusticeJOSE CATRAL MENDOZA Associate JusticeSee dissenting opinion MARIA LOURDES P. RENATO C. BRION Associate JusticeDIOSDADO M.

Gil S. Presbitero J. 2006 has come and gone. G. Velasco. Marquez Court Administrator Vice-Chairperson •Members/Technical Experts: •Dr. •2 On February 10.: The Resolution contains the proposed directives of the Manila Bay Advisory Committee to the concerned agencies1 and local government units (LGUs) for the implementation of the 18 December 2008 Decision of the Court in this case. Elisea G. 2008. as lead agency in the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. Concerned Residents of Manila •Hon. Gozun Chair of Earth Day Network and Former DENR Secretary •Dr. Jr.Arellano Law Foundation DISSENTING OPINION CARPIO. 37 of RA 9003] which ended on February 21.•1 Now the Department of Education (DepEd). thus: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)." It is composed of two members of the Court and three technical experts: •Hon. December 18. 2001 and the adverted grace period of five (5) years [in Sec. Among the directives stated in the Resolution is for the affected agencies to submit to the Court their plans of action and status reports. 2009. UP Marine Science Institute •Dr. Chairperson and ponente of MMDA vs. La Viña Former DENR Undersecretary Dean of the Ateneo School of Government •3 Our Decision in Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v.) The Lawphil Project . Concerned Residents of Manila Bay. 2011 the updated Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy (OPMBCS). 690. the Court En Banc approved a resolution creating an Advisory Committee "that will verify the reports of the government agencies tasked to clean up the Manila Bay.R. states: "RA 9003 took effect on February 15.M." (Emphasis supplied. Antonio G. shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. but no single sanitary landfill which strictly complies with the prescribed standards under RA 9003 has yet been set up.2 . Jose Midas P. Jacinto Former Director. 171947-48. Nos. 574 SCRA 661. J.

and Bataan that do not have sewerage and sanitation facilities. which shall not go beyond 2020.9 The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. Pampanga and Bataan in developing the fisheries and aquatic resources in Manila Bay. The report shall contain monitoring data on the marine life in said areas.3 The MWSS shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. Las Piñas) Rivers. the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros Rivers. 2011 its five-year plan of action on the measures and activities they intend to undertake to apprehend the violators of Presidential Decree (PD) 979 or the Marine Pollution Decree of 1976 and RA 9993 or the Philippine Coast Guard Law of 2009 and other pertinent laws and regulations to prevent marine pollution in Manila Bay and to ensure the successful prosecution of violators. 2020. 2010. and the completion period for said undertakings. . LWUA is further ordered to submit on or before September 30. install. Cavite. structures. Rizal. it shall submit its five-year plan to restore and improve the marine life in Manila Bay. 2011 the list of cities and towns in Laguna.4 The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) shall submit to the Court on or before June 30.The DILG is required to submit a five-year plan of action that will contain measures intended to ensure compliance of all non-complying factories. The PPA shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. 2011 the measures it intends to undertake to implement its compliance with paragraph 7 of the dispositive portion of the MMDA Decision and the completion dates of such measures. its future activities to assist the aforementioned LGUs for that purpose. 2011 the list of areas in Metro Manila. the NCR (ParañaqueZapote.7 The Philippine National Police (PNP) – Maritime Group shall submit on or before June 30. shall submit to the Court on or before June 30. ordinances and regulations to prevent marine pollution in Manila Bay and to ensure the successful prosecution of violators. Within the same period. and connecting waterways and esteros as of December 31. On or before the same date. the concessionaires of the MWSS shall submit their plans and projects for the construction of wastewater treatment facilities in all the aforesaid areas and the completion period for said facilities. Bulacan. Rizal and Cavite that do not have the necessary wastewater treatment facilities. Laguna. make and capacity of the ships that dock in PPA ports. operate and maintain sewerage and sanitation facilities in said cities and towns and the completion period for said works which shall be fully implemented by December 31. 2011 its five-year plan of action on the measures and activities they intend to undertake to apprehend the violators of RA 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 and other pertinent laws. constructions and other encroachments established or built in violation of RA 7279 and other applicable laws along the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan Rivers. Bulacan.5 The Department of Agriculture (DA). 2011 a report on areas in Manila Bay where marine life has to be restored or improved and the assistance it has extended to the LGUs in Metro Manila. 2011 the names and addresses of the informal settlers in Metro Manila who own and occupy houses. the MMDA shall submit its plan for the removal of said informal settlers and the demolition of the aforesaid houses. Pampanga.6 The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) shall incorporate in its quarterly reports the list of violators it has apprehended and the status of their cases. and private homes.8 The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) shall likewise submit on or before June 30. 2011 its plan to provide. structures. The PPA is further ordered to include in its report the names. commercial establishments. Within the same period. through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Cavite.

"17 This means that neither the Judiciary nor the Legislature can exercise executive power for executive power is the exclusive domain of the President. In the guise of implementing the 18 December 2008 Decision through the Resolution.11 [T]he DOH shall submit a plan of action to ensure that the said companies have proper disposal facilities and the completion dates of compliance . the Constitution provides that " executive power shall be vested in the President .16 The Court is now arrogating unto itself two constitutional powers exclusively vested in the President. Teehankee. of the President's power to discipline and remove administrative officials who are presidential appointees. since it would violate the fundamental doctrine of separation of powers. bureaus.10 [T]he DPWH and the aforesaid LGUs shall jointly submit its plan for the removal of said informal settlers and the demolition of the aforesaid structures. the Court is in effect supervising and directing the different government agencies and LGUs concerned. The issue in that case was whether the Commissioner of Land Registration may only be investigated by the Supreme Court."18 Neither the Judiciary nor the Legislature can exercise control or even supervision over executive departments. 2011. as well as the completion dates for said activities which shall be fully implemented not later than December 31.19 it was held that the Court cannot be required to exercise administrative functions such as supervision over executive officials. constructions and encroachments. therefore. the Resolution constitutes an intrusion of the Judiciary into the exclusive domain of the Executive. 2012. in view of the conferment upon him by law (Republic Act No. 2015 . The Court. if the Legislature had really intended to include in the general grant of "privileges" or "rank and privileges of Judges of the Court of First Instance" the right to be investigated by the Supreme Court. First. "15 Thus. The Resolution also requires that the concerned agencies shall " submit [to the Court] their quarterly reports electronically x x x. Clearly. 2012 . Second.12 On or before June 30. as well as the completion dates for such activities which shall be implemented not later than December 31. the directive for the concerned agencies to submit to the Court their quarterly reports is a continuing obligation which extends even beyond the year 2011. xxx But the more fundamental objection to the stand of petitioner Noblejas is that. bureaus. and offices. the DepEd shall also submit its plan of action to ensure compliance of all the schools under its supervision with respect to the integration of the aforementioned subjects in the school curricula which shall be fully implemented by June 30. answering in the negative. would mean placing upon the Supreme Court the duty of investigating and disciplining all these officials whose functions are plainly executive and the consequent curtailment by mere implication from the Legislative grant.constructions and encroachments. the Constitution provides that the President shall " have control of all the executive departments. 1151) of the rank and privileges of a Judge of the Court of First Instance.13 (Emphasis supplied) What is the purpose of requiring these agencies to submit to the Court their plans of action and status reports? Are these plans to be approved or disapproved by the Court? The Court does not have the competence or even the jurisdiction to evaluate these plans which involves technical matters 14 best left to the expertise of the concerned agencies. In Noblejas v. and to be suspended or removed only upon recommendation of that Court. then such grant of privilege would be unconstitutional. stated: To adopt petitioner's theory. by charging this court with the administrative function of supervisory control over executive . and offices . and which the Constitution expressly place under the President's supervision and control.

24 Furthermore. exercise administrative or quasi judicial functions. the directives in the Resolution are administrative in nature and circumvent the constitutional provision which prohibits Supreme Court members from performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions. Pasay Transportation Co. The Supreme Court and its members should not and cannot be required to exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not pertaining to or connected with the administering of judicial functions. the Resolution orders some LGU officials to inspect the establishments and houses along major river banks and to "take appropriate action to ensure compliance by non-complying factories. and simultaneously reducing pro tanto the control of the Chief Executive over such officials. commercial establishments and private homes with said law. v. in the case of In Re: Designation of Judge Manzano as Member of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Committee on Justice. taken therefrom to the courts and eventually coming before the Supreme Court. it would presuppose the right to bring the matter in dispute before the courts. whose decision of a majority shall be final. Article VIII of the Constitution.20 (Boldfacing supplied) Likewise. Either the members of the Supreme Court. rules and regulations requiring the construction or installment of wastewater treatment facilities or hygienic septic . It is judicial power and judicial power only which is exercised by the Supreme Court. In that case. a petition was filed requesting the members of the Supreme Court. The Court held that the committee performs administrative functions22 which are prohibited under Section 12. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides: SEC. The Court explained: We run counter to this dilemma. or as members of the Supreme Court. The members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions. for we find the Supreme Court as a court asked to determine if the members of the court may be constituted a board of arbitrators. as the guardian of constitutional rights. Section 12. should not sanction usurpations by any other department of the government. to act on the petition of Manila Electric Company. sitting as a board of arbitrators. in this case.23 this Court has already emphasized that the Supreme Court should only exercise judicial power and should not assume any duty which does not pertain to the administering of judicial functions. The Court held that it would be improper and illegal for the members of the Supreme Court. Even conceding that it does. we would then have the anomaly of a decision by the members of the Supreme Court. sitting as a board of arbitrators. exercise judicial functions. sitting as a board of arbitrators. Just as the Supreme Court. sitting as a board of arbitrators. which was tasked to receive complaints and to make recommendations for the speedy disposition of cases of detainees.officials. But if this be the proper construction. 12. if the functions performed by the members of the Supreme Court. sitting as a board of arbitrators. where the Supreme Court would review the decision of its members acting as arbitrators. . that would result in the performance of duties which the members of the Supreme Court could not lawfully take it upon themselves to perform. for any other construction would tend to oust the courts of jurisdiction and render the award a nullity. Thus. to fix the terms and the compensation to be paid to Manila Electric Company for the use of right of way.21 the Court invalidated the designation of a judge as member of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Committee on Justice. so should it as strictly confine its own sphere of influence to the powers expressly or by implication conferred on it by the Organic Act. As early as the 1932 case of Manila Electric Co. The first case would appear not to fall within the jurisdiction granted the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands represents one of the three divisions of power in our government. sitting as a board of arbitrators. which is not a court at all. The present petition also furnishes an apt illustration of another anomaly. Or in the second case. be considered as administrative or quasi judicial in nature.

and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not follow from the fact that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. the Resolution mandates that on or before 30 June 2011.) within their respective jurisdictions. It obtains not through express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. commercial establishments and private homes. Thus. and through the city and municipality with respect to barangays. it should not attempt to assume or be compelled to perform non-judicial functions. thus: SECTION 25. Each department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction." The Resolution contains directives which are outside the ambit of the Court's judicial functions. Reyes inNoblejas v.35 Since the Supreme Court is only granted judicial power. and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. The Court must refrain from overstepping its boundaries by taking over the functions of an equal branch of the government – the Executive. . the 1987 Constitution provides that: (a) the legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines. The Constitution has . The principle of separation of powers between the Executive.30 Indeed."25 The LGU officials are also directed to "submit to the DILG on or before December 31.36 Judicial power is defined under Section 1. (Emphasis supplied) The Resolution constitutes judicial overreach by usurping and performing executive functions ."28 Under the Local Government Code of 1991. highly urbanized cities and independent component cities. The President shall exercise supervisory authority directly over provinces.(a) Consistent with the basic policy on local autonomy.tanks.33 (b) the executive power shall be vested in the President of the Philippines.L. 2011 their respective compliance reports which shall contain the names and addresses or offices of the owners of all the non-complying factories."27 The Court is in effect ordering these LGU officials how to do their job and even gives a deadline for their compliance."32 The directives in the Resolution constitute a judicial encroachment of an executive function which clearly violates the system of separation of powers that inheres in our democratic republican government. Again. this is a usurpation of the power of the President to supervise LGUs under the Constitution and existing laws. Section 4. Electoral Commission:37 The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government.29 the President exercises general supervision over LGUs. Article X of the 1987 Constitution provides that: " The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments x x x. through the province with respect to component cities and municipalities.B."26 Furthermore.31 "the Supreme Court of the Philippines and its members should not and can not be required to exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not pertaining to or connected with the administration of judicial functions. the President shall exercise general supervision over local government units to ensure that their acts are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions. The principle of separation of powers is explained by the Court in the leading case of Angara v.34 and (c) the judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established. the DILG and the mayors of all cities in Metro Manila should "consider providing land for the wastewater facilities of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) or its concessionaires (Maynilad and Manila Water Inc. National Supervision over Local Government Units . Legislative. The Court should abstain from exercising any function which is not strictly judicial in character and is not clearly conferred on it by the Constitution. and Judicial branches of government is part of the basic structure of the Philippine Constitution. Teehankee. as stated by Justice J. Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution as that which "includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.

x x x And the judiciary in turn. but in the sense that the acts of each shall never be controlled by or subjected to the influence of either of the branches. the system of separated powers is designed to restrain one branch from inappropriate interference in the business. ACCORDINGLY. J. with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter." Expressed in another perspective. however. The system of separation of powers contemplates the division of the functions of government into its three (3) branches: the legislative which is empowered to make laws. Now then. Consequent to actual delineation of power. is the matter of separation of powers which would likely be disturbed should the Court meander into alien territory of the executive and dictate how the final shape of the peace agreement with the MILF should look like. as a logical corollary.: . it follows. each branch of government is entitled to be left alone to discharge its duties as it sees fit. of another branch. CARPIO Associate Justice The Lawphil Project . independent not in the sense that the three shall not cooperate in the common end of carrying into effect the purposes of the constitution. and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution. Government of the Republic of the Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain (GRP). I vote against the approval of the Resolution. Being one such branch. the executive which is required to carry out the law. the Judiciary should neither undermine such exercise of executive power by the President nor arrogate executive power unto itself. it is a blend of courtesy and caution. ANTONIO T.41 Considering that executive power is exclusively vested in the President of the Philippines. there cannot be any serious dispute that the maintenance of the peace. insuring domestic tranquility and the suppression of violence are the domain and responsibility of the executive. In his dissenting opinion in the 2008 case of Province of North Cotabato v. and the judiciary which is charged with interpreting the law. adherence to the principle of separation of powers which is enshrined in our Constitution is essential to prevent tyranny by prohibiting the concentration of the sovereign powers of state in one body. equally important. the judiciary. Gil. The Judiciary must confine itself to the exercise of judicial functions and not encroach upon the functions of the other branches of the government. or intruding upon the central prerogatives.39 Justice Velasco emphatically stated: Separation of Powers to be Guarded Over and above the foregoing considerations." x x x Under our constitutional set up. if it be important to restrict the great departments of government to the exercise of their appointed powers. as Justice Laurel asserted in Planas v. "a self-executing safeguard against the encroachment or aggrandizement of one branch at the expense of the other. that one branch should be left completely independent of the others.38 Even the ponente is passionate about according respect to the system of separation of powers between the three equal branches of the government.40(Emphasis supplied) Indeed. "will neither direct nor restrain executive [or legislative action]. effectively checks the other department in its exercise of its power to determine the law.Arellano Law Foundation DISSENTING OPINION SERENO.provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government.

these local governments are required to submit their plan for the removal of informal settlers and encroachments which are in violation of Republic Act No. The Court has the duty of implementing constitutional safeguards that protect individual rights but they cannot push back the limits of the Constitution to accommodate the challenged violation. On 18 December 2008. the Court established its own Manila Bay Advisory Committee. skin-diving. to summarize data on the quality of Manila Bay waters. I find these directives in the Majority Resolution patently irreconcilable with basic constitutional doctrines and with the legislative mechanisms already in place." The Department of the Interior and Local Government is directed to "order the Mayors of all cities in Metro Manila. subject to some modifications. In cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). 2011. Concerned Residents of Manila Bay. Cavite. and the Mayors of all the cities and towns in said provinces to inspect all factories. and restore and maintain its waters to SB level (Class B sea waters per Water Classification Tables under DENR Administrative Order No. G. from which court the idea of a continuing mandatory injunction for environmental cases was drawn by the Philippine Supreme Court. denying the petition of the government agencies. the Governors of Rizal. It ordered the DENR to submit the updated operational plan directly to the Court. and other forms of contact recreation. 7279. Despite having the best of intentions to ensure compliance by petitioners with their corresponding statutory mandates in an urgent manner. but also goes further by requiring reports and updates from the said government agencies. defendants in Civil Case No. which explicitly grant control and supervision over these agencies to the President alone."1 These are the words of Justice Anand of the Supreme Court of India. on or before 30 June 2011. The LGUs are given a deadline of 30 September 2011 to finish the inspection. It encompasses several of the specific instructions laid out by the court in the original case. this Court has unfortunately encroached upon prerogatives solely to be exercised by the President and by Congress. These words express alarm that the Indian judiciary has already taken on the role of running the government in environmental cases. Laguna. rehabilitate. 1851-99. It held that the Court of Appeals. For these reasons. Upon the recommendations of the said Committee. and preserve Manila Bay. 34 [1990]) to make them fit for swimming. . was correct in affirming the 13 September 2002 Decision of the Regional Trial Court in Civil Case No. the Court has encroached upon the exclusive authority of the Executive Department and violated the doctrine of Separation of Powers The Resolution assigned the Department of Natural Resources as the primary agency for environment protection and required the implementation of its Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy. The said demolition must take place not later than 31 December 2012.R. In issuing these directives. Bulacan. and to no one else. It needs to be remembered that the Court cannot run the government.2 Pursuant to the judgment above. It ordered "the abovenamed defendant-government agencies to clean up. and setting deadlines for the submission thereof. the present Resolution was issued. 1851-99. Pampanga and Bataan. 171947-48. Nos."The judicial whistle needs to be blown for a purpose and with caution. commercial establishments and private homes along the banks of the major river systems…" to determine if they have wastewater treatment facilities. and to "submit the names and addresses of persons and companies…that generate toxic or hazardous waste on or before September 30. the Court promulgated its decision in MMDA v. A similar situation would result in the Philippines were the majority Resolution to be adopted. I respectfully dissent from the Majority Resolution." The Court further issued each of the aforementioned agencies specific orders to comply with their statutory mandate. such as the Administrative Code and the Local Government Code.

7279.A. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. the days they docked and the days they were at sea. The Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) is ordered to submit on or before 30 September 2011 its plan to install and operate sewerage and sanitation facilities in the towns and cities where needed. the President also has the duty of supervising and enforcement of laws for the maintenance of general peace and public order. the completion period for which shall not go beyond the year 2020. The Court pronounced that the express constitutional grant of authority to the Executive is broad and encompassing. which must be fully implemented by 31 December 2020.5 this Court has already asserted that the enforcement of all laws is the sole domain of the Executive. treatment and disposal sites for such wastes. . Executive Secretary. 292. and the violators that PPA has apprehended. It is generally defined as the power to enforce and administer the laws. The Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Aquatic Fisheries and Resources are ordered to submit on or before 30 June 2011 a list of areas where marine life in Manila Bay has improved. The issuance of specific instructions to subordinate agencies in the implementation of policy mandates in all laws. bureaus. the Court has no authority to issue these directives. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the seventeen (17) LGUs in Metro Manila must submit a report on the "amount of garbage collected per district…vis-à-vis the average amount of garbage disposed monthly in landfills and dumpsites.. the President is the Chief Executive. It is the power of carrying the laws into practical operation and enforcing their due observance. he is granted administrative power over bureaus and offices under his control to enable him to discharge his duties effectively. He represents the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by the officials and employees of his department." MMDA must also submit a plan for the removal of informal settlers and encroachments along NCR Rivers which violate R. They fall squarely under the domain of the executive branch of the state. state: Exercise of Executive Power. The said agency must also require companies to procure a "license to operate" issued by the DOH. and offices. the activities of the concessionaire that would collect solid and liquid ship-generated waste. is an exercise of the power of supervision and control – the sole province of the Office of the President. The Department of Health (DOH) is required to submit the names and addresses of septic and sludge companies that have no treatment facilities. the President executes the laws. and capacity of each ship that would dock in PPA ports.The President shall have control of all the executive departments.4 In Anak Mindanao Party-list Group v. make. not just those that protect the environment. bureau and office. and the assistance extended to different Local Government Units in this regard. the volume. He has control over the executive department.The Executive power shall be vested in the President. No. The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is ordered to report the names. Corollary to the power of control.3 Power of Control. The Court said: While Congress is vested with the power to enact laws. . On or before 30 June 2011. or interfere with the discretion of its officials. The executive power is vested in the President. As head of the Executive Department. This means that he has the authority to assume directly the functions of the executive department. bureaus and offices. or the Administrative Code of the Philippines.The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is required to submit its plans for the construction of wastewater treatment facilities in areas where needed. such that it justifies reorganization measures6 initiated by the President. Both the 1987 Constitution and Executive Order No. Thus. the MWSS is further required to have its two concessionaires submit a report on the amount collected as sewerage fees. Clearly.

he can issue administrative orders. as shown thus: Administrative Orders. except to the extent authorized by the Constitution.10 The powers expressly vested in any branch of the Government shall not be exercised by. rules and regulations. The implementation of the policy laid out by the legislature – in the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. Achieved thereby is a uniform standard of administrative efficiency. This move is tantamount to making these agencies accountable to the Court instead of the President. It enables the President to fix a uniform standard of administrative efficiency and check the official conduct of his agents. the Court is also violating the latter’s general supervisory authority over local governments: Sec. the Environment Code. nor delegated to. Former Chief Justice Reynato S.––(a) Consistent with the basic policy on local autonomy. To this end. the issuance of the Resolution itself is in direct contravention of the President’s exclusive power to issue administrative orders.To herein petitioner agencies impleaded below.11 As has often been repeated by this Court. the Toxic and Hazardous Waste Act or Republic Act 6969. the Resolution of this Court overlaps with the President’s administrative power.7 The Court’s discussion in Ople v. The Court also required the agencies to apprise it of any noncompliance with the standards set forth by different laws as to environment protection.The President shall exercise general supervision over local governments. One of the directives is that which requires local governments to conduct inspection of homes and establishments along the riverbanks. it cannot but yield to the higher mandate of separation of powers and the mechanisms laid out by the people through the Constitution.9 Sec. 25. In fact. Torres8 pertaining to the extent and breadth of administrative power bestowed upon the President is apt: Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper governmental organs. this Court has given very specific instructions to report the progress and status of their operations directly to the latter.Acts of the President which relate to particular aspect of governmental operations in pursuance of his duties as administrative head shall be promulgated in administrative orders. ……… An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President which relates to specific aspects in the administrative operation of government. any other branch of the Government. and other laws geared towards environment protection – is under the competence of the President. And since it is through administrative orders promulgated by the President that specific operational aspects for these policies are laid out. General Supervision Over Local Governments. National Supervision over Local Government Units. . The very occupation streamlined especially for the technical and practical expertise of the Executive Branch is being usurped without regard for the delineations of power in the Constitution. Puno has traced its origin and rationale as inhering in the republican system of government: . No matter how urgent and laudatory the cause of environment protection has become. It must be in harmony with the law and should be for the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the legislative policy. . Not content with arrogating unto itself the powers of "control" and "supervision" granted by the Administrative Code to the President over said petitioner administrative agencies. the President shall exercise general supervision over local government units to ensure that their acts are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions. and to submit a plan for the removal of certain informal settlers. 18. the doctrine of separation of powers is the very wellspring from which the Court draws its legitimacy.

that of enacting laws. whether of the nobles or of the people. legislative and judicial powers and with a formidable foresight counselled that any combination of these powers would create a system with an inherent tendency towards tyrannical actions… Again. not a discretionary duty. Nos. the Court explicitly admitted that "[w]hile the implementation of the MMDA’s mandated tasks may entail a decision-making process. so much so that the Court now engages in the slippery slope of overseeing technical details. if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and the executive. Sps. on the other hand. It is at this point where the demarcation of the general act of "cleaning up the Manila Bay" has become blurred. corporation. 12 Nor is there merit in the contention that these directives will speed up the rehabilitation of Manila Bay better than if said rehabilitation were left to the appropriate agencies. Montesquieu authoritatively analyzed the nature of executive. "The Separation of Powers often impairs efficiency.. board. the Court can only require a particular action. or (2) when any tribunal. is a faculty conferred upon a court or official by which he may decide the question either way and still be right. and that of trying the causes of individuals. with an order outliningspecific technical rules on how to perform such a duty. the duty sought to be compelled to be performed must be a ministerial duty. clear and certain right. and judicial powers to a single branch of government by deftly allocating their exercise to the three branches of government. to exercise those three powers. that of executing the public resolutions. but it cannot provide for the means to accomplish such action."13 Mandamus does not lie to compel a discretionary act. the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control. Abaga v. Discretion. were the same man or the same body. officer or person unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which the other is entitled. there are two situations when a writ of mandamus may issue: (1) when any tribunal. or station. It has confused an order enjoining a duty. Expediency is never a reason to abandon legitimacy. It is the long-term staying power of government that is enhanced by the mutual accommodation required by the separation of powers.15 In its revised Resolution. the Court is now setting deadlines for the implementation of policy formulations which require decision-making by the agencies. 171947-48. corporation. for mandamus to lie. trust. board. Panes16 the Court said: From the foregoing Rule. and the petitioner must show that he has a well-defined. requiring the exercise of judgment…In short. The Spirit of the Laws. the enforcement of the law or the very act of doing what the law exacts to be done is ministerial in nature and may be compelled by mandamus. for the judge would be then the legislator.The principle of separation of powers prevents the concentration of legislative. Were it joined with the legislative. officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office.17 . The "duty" mentioned in the first situation is a ministerial duty. Were it joined to the executive power. in terms of dispatch and the immediate functioning of government." 14 In denying the appeal of petitioners and affirming the Decision of the RTC. In G. executive. There would be an end of everything. there is no liberty.R. Assuming without conceding that mandamus were availing under Rule 65. not a discretionary duty. In Sps.. In his famed treatise. the Court of Appeals stressed that the trial court’s Decision did not require petitioners to do tasks outside of their usual basic functions under existing laws. the judge might behave with violence and oppression.

The duty being enjoined in mandamus must be one according to the terms defined in the law itself. Thus, the recognized rule is that, in the performance of an official duty or act involving discretion, the corresponding official can only be directed by mandamus to act, but not to act one way or the other. This is the end of any participation by the Court, if it is authorized to participate at all. In setting a deadline for the accomplishment of these directives, not only has the Court provided the means of accomplishing the task required, it has actually gone beyond the standards set by the law. There is nothing in the Environment Code, the Administrative Code, or the Constitution which grants this authority to the judiciary. It is already settled that, "If the law imposes a duty upon a public officer and gives him the right to decide when and how the duty shall be performed, such duty is not ministerial."18 In Alvarez v. PICOP Resources,19 the Court ruled that, As an extraordinary writ, the remedy of mandamus lies only to compel an officer to perform a ministerial duty, not a discretionary one; mandamus will not issue to control the exercise of discretion of a public officer where the law imposes upon him the duty to exercise his judgment in reference to any manner in which he is required to act, because it is his judgment that is to be exercised and not that of the court. The Constitution does not authorize the courts to "monitor" the execution of their decisions. It is an oft-repeated rule that the Court has no power to issue advisory opinions, much less "directives" requiring progress reports from the parties respecting the execution of its decisions. The requirements of "actual case or controversy" and "justiciability" have long been established in order to limit the exercise of judicial review. While its dedication to the implementation of the fallo in G.R. 171947-48 is admirable, the Court’s power cannot spill over to actual encroachment upon both the "control" and police powers of the State under the guise of a "continuing mandamus." In G.R. 171947-48, the Court said: "Under what other judicial discipline describes as ‘continuing mandamus,’ the Court may, under extraordinary circumstances, issue directives with the end in view of ensuring that its decision would not be set to naught by administrative inaction or indifference." Needless to say, the "continuing mandamus" in this case runs counter to principles of "actual case or controversy" and other requisites for judicial review. In fact, the Supreme Court is in danger of acting as a "super-administrator"20 – the scenario presently unfolding in India where the supposed remedy originated. There the remedy was first used in Vineet Narain and Others v. Union of India,21 a public interest case for corruption filed against high-level officials. Since then, the remedy has been applied to environmental cases as an oversight and control power by which the Supreme Court of India has created committees (i.e. the Environment Pollution Authority and the Central Empowered Committee in forest cases) and allowed these committees to act as the policing agencies.22 But the most significant judicial intervention in this regard was the series of orders promulgated by the Court in T.N. Godavarman v. Union of India.23 Although the Writ Petition filed by Godavarman was an attempt to seek directions from the Court regarding curbing the illegal felling of trees, the Supreme Court went further to make policy determinations in an attempt to improve the country’s forests. The Court Order suspending felling of trees that did not adhere to state government working plans resulted in effectively freezing the country’s timber industry. The Supreme Court completely banned tree felling in certain north-eastern states to any part of the country. The court’s role was even more pronounced in its later directions. While maintaining the ban on felling of trees in the seven northeast states, the court directed the state governments to gather, process, sell, and otherwise manage the already felled timber in the manner its specified the Supreme Court became the supervisor of all forest issues, ranging from controlling, pricing and transport of timber to management of forest revenue, as well as implementation of its orders.24

Thus, while it was originally intended to assert public rights in the face of government inaction and neglect, the remedy is now facing serious criticism as it has spiraled out of control. 25 In fact, even Justice J. S. Verma, who penned the majority opinion in Vineet Narain in which ‘continuing mandamus’ first made its appearance, subsequently pronounced that "judicial activism should be neither judicial ad hocism nor judicial tyranny."26Justice B.N. Srikrishna observed that judges now seem to want to engage themselves with boundless enthusiasm in complex socio-economic issues raising myriads of facts and ideological issues that cannot be managed by "judicially manageable standards."27 Even Former Chief Justice A. S. Anand, a known defender of judicial activism, has warned against the tendency towards "judicial adventurism," reiterating the principle that "the role of the judge is that of a referee. I can blow my judicial whistle when the ball goes out of play; but when the game restarts I must neither take part in it nor tell the players how to play."28 Unless our own Supreme Court learns to curb its excesses and apply to this case the standards for judicial review it has developed over the years and applied to co-equal branches, the scenario in India could very well play out in the Philippines. The Court must try to maintain a healthy balance between the departments, precisely as the Constitution mandates, by delineating its "deft strokes and bold lines,"29 ever so conscious of the requirements of actual case and controversy. While, admittedly, there are certain flaws in the operation and implementation of the laws, the judiciary cannot take the initiative to compensate for such perceived inaction. The Court stated in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance:30 Disregard of the essential limits imposed by the case and controversy requirement can in the long run only result in undermining our authority as a court of law. For, as judges, what we are called upon to render is judgment according to law, not according to what may appear to be the opinion of the day… Hence, "over nothing but cases and controversies can courts exercise jurisdiction, and it is to make the exercise of that jurisdiction effective that they are allowed to pass upon constitutional questions."31 Admirable though the sentiments of the Court may be, it must act within jurisdictional limits. These limits are founded upon the traditional requirement of a cause of action: "the act or omission by which a party violates a right of another."32 In constitutional cases, for every writ or remedy, there must be a clear pronouncement of the corresponding right which has been infringed. Only then can there surface that "clear concreteness provided when a question emerges precisely framed and necessary for decision from a clash of adversary argument exploring every aspect of a multifaceted situation embracing conflicting and demanding interests."33 Unfortunately, the Court fails to distinguish between a pronouncement on violation of rights on one hand, and non-performance of duties vis-à-vis operational instructions, on the other. Moreover, it also dabbles in an interpretation of constitutional rights in a manner that is dangerously pre-emptive of legally available remedies. The "continuing mandamus" palpably overlaps with the power of congressional oversight. Article 6, Section 22 of the 1987 Constitution states: The heads of department may upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, or as the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but may cover matters related thereto. When the security of the state or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session.

This provision pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective of which is to obtain information in pursuit of Congress’ oversight function. Macalintal v. Comelec34 discussed the scope of congressional oversight in full. Oversight refers to the power of the legislative department to check, monitor and ensure that the laws it has enacted are enforced: The power of Congress does not end with the finished task of legislation . Concomitant with its principal power to legislate is the auxiliary power to ensure that the laws it enacts are faithfully executed. As well stressed by one scholar, the legislature "fixes the main lines of substantive policy and is entitled to see that administrative policy is in harmony with it; it establishes the volume and purpose of public expenditures and ensures their legality and propriety; it must be satisfied that internal administrative controls are operating to secure economy and efficiency; and it informs itself of the conditions of administration of remedial measure. ……… Clearly, oversight concerns post-enactment measures undertaken by Congress: (a) to monitor bureaucratic compliance with program objectives, (b) to determine whether agencies are properly administered, (c) to eliminate executive waste and dishonesty, (d) to prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority, and (d) to assess executive conformity with the congressional perception of public interest. ……… Congress, thus, uses its oversight power to make sure that the administrative agencies perform their functions within the authority delegated to them . Macalintal v. Comelec further discusses that legislative supervision under the oversight power connotes a continuing and informed awareness on the part of Congress regarding executive operations in a given administrative area. Because the power to legislate includes the power to ensure that the laws are enforced, this monitoring power has been granted by the Constitution to the legislature. In cases of executive non-implementation of statutes, the courts cannot justify the use of "continuing mandamus," as it would by its very definition overlap with the monitoring power under congressional oversight. The Resolution does not only encroach upon the general supervisory function of the Executive, it also diminished and arrogated unto itself the power of congressional oversight. Conclusion This Court cannot nobly defend the environmental rights of generations of Filipinos enshrined in the Constitution while in the same breath eroding the foundations of that very instrument from which it draws its power. While the remedy of "continuing mandamus" has evolved out of a Third World jurisdiction similar to ours, we cannot overstep the boundaries laid down by the rule of law. Otherwise, this Court would rush recklessly beyond the delimitations precisely put in place to safeguard excesses of power. The tribunal, considered by many citizens as the last guardian of fundamental rights, would then resemble nothing more than an idol with feet of clay: strong in appearance, but weak in foundation. …The Court becomes a conscience by acting to remind us of limitation on power, even judicial power, and the interrelation of good purposes with good means. Morality is not an end dissociated from means. There is a morality of morality, which respects the limitation of office and the fallibility of the human mind…self-limitation is the first mark of the master. That, too is part of the role of the conscience.35 The majority Resolution would, at the same time, cast the light of scrutiny more harshly on judicial action in which the Court’s timely exercise of its powers is called for – as in the cases of prisoners languishing in jail whose cases await speedy resolution by this Court. There would then be nothing to stop the executive and the legislative departments from considering as fair game the judiciary’s own accountability in its clearly delineated department.

A. SERENO Associate Justice .MARIA LOURDES P.

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