NHA’s 40 houses for Duero’s Eskaya tribe nearing reality

By Rey Anthony Chiu | 09:55 AM April 03, 2022

Indigenous communities in Bohol moves a step closer to their dreams, when the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has green-lighted the National Housing Authority (NHA) for their shelter assistance to the Eskayas of Taytay Duero. 

The NHA, though its Bohol Field Office presented the agency’s Housing Assistance Program for Indigenous Peoples (HAPIP) in the mountains of Duero.

In consonance with NHA Board Resolution 5437 dated March 30, 2012, NHA issued Memorandum Circular No. 2423, which laid the guidelines governing the implementation of the Housing Assistance Program for Indigenous Peoples. 

HAPIP was created to provide housing assistance to indigenous women, men, and children to improve their living conditions through the provision of decent shelter pursuant to Republic Act 8731 or the Indigenous Peoples Right Act of 1997. 

The general policy is to provide financial and technical assistance to IPs in coordination with National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and LGUs in the development of their housing sites in their own Ancestral Domain or in lands owned by the LGU, explained Grace V Solis, NHA Bohol Fielf Manager. 

The assistance is designed to ensure that the IP’s economic, social, and cultural wellbeing through the provision of basic services of housing will be protected and to promote their active participation in the whole process. 

But, for the protection and conservation of the culture, heritage and rights of the indigenous people, safeguards have been set up to make sure that government agencies like the NHA, must first secure prior certification from the NCIP in compliance with the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). 

Section 59 of Republic Act No. 8371, (IPRA) of 1997 states that “All departments and other governmental agencies are strictly enjoined to secure prior certification from the NCIP before issuing, renewing, or granting any concession, license or lease, or entering into any production – sharing agreement, with the IPs in the area, generally to protect their rights and domains. 

By law, the NCIP can only issue the certification after doing a field–based investigation by its Ancestral Domains Office to ascertain that the IPS in the area are informed and a written consent of ICCs/IPs is obtained. 

Even then, the beneficiary IPS still reserve the right to stop or suspend, in accordance with the law, any project that has not satisfied the consultation process requirement.

To this, the NCIP recently issued to the NHA the Certificate of Precondition from the NCIP for its HAPIP in Barangay Taytay, Duero, Bohol.

The NHA in Region 7 has readied a P15 million financial assistance to the local government Unit of Duero, Bohol for the resettlement project for the IPS, the fund coming from its HAPIP Project.  

Finally, the concerned parties can now focus their attention as to the full implementation of the project knowing that all the necessary documents are now fully completed.

The P175 million forms the first tranche and would be spent on the land development and housing construction for the 40 housing units as projected for the Eskaya tribes men. 

The housing project to be built within the ancestral domains property of the Eskaya, would provide Boholano indigenous communities sturdier and more disaster resilient house. 

At the recent turn-over were NHA Bohol District Manager Grace V. Solis, Senior Engineer Aurell A. Arboladura, Senior Financial Planning Analyst Vic Christian G. De La Torre and Secretary Michelle C. Galanida. 

For the LGU, present were Municipal Mayor Conrada C. Amparo, Vice-Mayor Gillian R. Achacoso, Brgy. Captain Edgardo L. Bagotsay and Duero department heads. 

Also in the event were Eskaya Tribal Chieftain Hilario S. Galambao and NCIP Bohol OIC Emilou M. Gonzaga. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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