Legislating Communality: State Law and Tenure Practice Among the Banwa-on

Abstract / Excerpt:

A. Theory and Practice
In a book reviewing Southeast Asian governments' policies for indigenous people, Eder and McKenna judged the Philippines "a relative bright spot", compared to the other countries in the region (2004: 56). This view is based mainly on the Philippine government's enactment of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in 1997, a law that allows indigenous people to secure titles over their territories. In their conclusion however, they spoke of "cloudy prospects" (2004: 78) for Philippine indigenous groups, because state practice allegedly lagged behind theory.

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Introduction

A. Theory and Practice
In a book reviewing Southeast Asian governments' policies for indigenous people, Eder and McKenna judged the Philippines "a relative bright spot", compared to the other countries in the region (2004: 56). This view is based mainly on the Philippine government's enactment of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in 1997, a law that allows indigenous people to secure titles over their territories. In their conclusion however, they spoke of "cloudy prospects" (2004: 78) for Philippine indigenous groups, because state practice allegedly lagged behind theory.

The article assumes that the theory - the IPRA itself - is, if not perfect, then sound; the focus instead is on the divergence between what the law promises and how well the state is implementing it. Externalities to the law such as the state's unwillingness to cede genuine control of resources to communities are thus cited as the obstacles to development (Eder and Mckenna 2004: 79-80). Conversely, there is no attempt at a critical reading of the law's provisions.

Info
Source JournalMindanao Law Journal
Journal VolumeMindanao Law Journal Vol.2 No.2
AuthorsAugusto B. Gatmaytan
Page Count21
Place of PublicationDavao City
Original Publication DateAugust 1, 2010
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