A Study on the Customary Laws and Indigenous Political Structures of the Ibaloi, Kalanguya and Kankana-Ey Communities of Itogon, Benguet
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples – United Nations Development Programme Protecting Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Project
Posted: 12 Aug 2017 Last revised: 12 Feb 2018
Date Written: November 15, 2015
Itogon, the largest municipality in Benguet, has one of the highest multiethnic constituencies in this province largely due to the continuous labor demand with the introduction of the large-scale mining industry. Composed of nine barangays spread over 49,800 hectares, it is home to three major indigenous groups namely, Ibaloi, Kalanguya and Kankana-ey. The Ibaloi, Kalanguya and Kankan-ey’s Ancestral Domain, covering 38,683.4128 hectares, is a crucial connection for biodiversity resources that it was declared a Watershed Forest Reserve on April 2000. However, to date, almost every square inch of this domain is covered with mining reservations, mining patents, mining lease, mineral production sharing agreements, mining claims, and special land use permits. Delineations have been blurred, traditional obligations have shifted, new structures have emerged, and conflicts have arisen. This research aims to answer why and how the Indigenous Political Structures and Customary Laws of the communities in Itogon have changed across time and space; and how these changes continue to uphold, promote, and protect their rights and interests, culture and traditions—or so we thought.
Keywords: indigenous political structure, indigenous political organization, customary law, tenurial rights, land dispute, Itogon, Benguet, Ibaloi, Kalanguya, Kankana-ey
JEL Classification: Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation