IPs to get royalty fees from quarry operators

IPs to get royalty fees from quarry operators
PACT FOR THE IPs. Datu Erick Perez, representing the indigenous cultural communities of Tagum City, Davao del Norte, signs the memorandum of agreement on Tuesday (April 6) formalizing the royalty fees to be paid by quarry operators to dwellers along the Hijo River. (Photo courtesy of Louie Lapat/CHCO)

DAVAO CITY — The indigenous cultural communities of Tagum City in Davao del Norte living along the banks of the Hijo River will be receiving royalty fees from quarry operators.

This came after a tripartite agreement was signed Tuesday (April 6) by the concerned parties.

Tagum City Historical and Cultural Office in a statement said tribal communities of both Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte that dwell along the Hijo River organized themselves as the Kagan-Tipanud Institutionalization Program Operation and Networking (KATIPON).

“Davao de Oro tribes will get the lion’s share of the royalty fees since their territory was recognized by the state as an ancestral domain. Despite this, the tribal leaders of Tagum expressed gratitude to their counterparts in Davao de Oro for integrating them in this landmark development by making them as co-managers of the Hijo River,” the statement reads.

The indigenous cultural communities of Madaum, Magugpo East, Apokon, Magdum and Pandapan also formed themselves into an association, which will receive the 30 percent share of the monthly collection paid by the quarry operators to KATIPON.

The 30 percent share will be utilized by the cultural communities to fund their association’s various programs focused on capacity, cultural, economic and social development programs and projects, respectively.

The agreement, which is strongly supported by the City Government of Tagum, facilitates the royalty payment to the Indigenous Cultural Communities through a recognized organization for a period of 25 years, and is considered to be a landmark act that formally recognizes the rights of the indigenous cultural communities over their ancestral domain.

A total of 17 legitimate entities with commercial sand and gravel permits agreed to pay a fixed amount of P200 per truckload and P50 for a mini dump truck to the said organization. 

“This major development was a product of extensive years of lobbying by the leaders of the tribal communities in both Davao de Oro and Tagum City with the assistance coming from the local governments and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP),” it further reads.

The Hijo River has long ties with the history of both Tagum and Maco, with its riverbanks being the dwelling sites of tribal communities.