Iraya Mangyans to be evicted for Puerto Galera Municipal Waste Dump

By Robert A. Evora Manila Standard Today -
Date of publication: 
17 April, 2015

PUERTO GALERA, Oriental Mindoro—Mangyan representatives walked out on a meeting called by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples after refusing to sign a resolution endorsing the P66-million dump project that they said would encroach on their ancestral land.

“The proposed Categorized Waste Disposal Facility/Sanitary Landfill Project will displace us and contaminate the purity of the nearby source of springwater (bukal) flowing into the Tamaraw Falls,” said Ciriaco Bibo, who led the tribesmen belonging to the Iraya Mangyan subtribe.

But NCIP Provincial Officer Karen Ignacio reportedly gave the Mangyans until the end of the month to sign the resolution agreeing to move to another area, far from the proposed municipal dump and landfill project.

Should the deadline lapse, the Mangyans would be evicted from the village.

The project will be on a 10-hectate public land owned by the Puerto Galera municipal government, in upper sitio Lapantay, Bgy. Villaflor. The village is home to 47 Iraya Mangyan families who have lived there for more than 40 years.

The municipal resolution that the Iraya Mangyans refused to sign says they endorse the sanitary landfill and waste disposal project and agree to a relocation site far from their village.

“Yan po ang dahilan kung bakit kami umalis sa pinatawag na miting ng NCIP. Pinipilit kami pumirma sa hindi namin kagustuhan (This is the reason we walked out. We were being told to sign something we don’t agree to),” Bibo explained.

He added that the proposed dump project will adversely affect their livelihood derived from agriculture, the Tamaraw Falls, the community, and their two-year old two-classroom school buildings where 50 Mangyan children use in their elementary education.

The Mangyan leader stressed that the NCIP must respect and honor Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous People’s Act of 1997 which “recognizes our ancestral land rights.”

Background story:


Mayor to Mangyans: Leave land by 30th or be evicted

Robert A. Evora –

23 April 2015

PUERTO GALERA, Oriental Mindoro—The mayor of this town stands firm on his decision to evict 47 Mangyan families from their highland village to make way for a P66-million dump.

In coordination with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Mayor Hubbert Christopher A. Dolor gave the Mindoro tribesmen, led by Ciriaco Bibo, an ultimatum until the end of this month to vacate the village and transfer to a nearby mountain as their relocation site.

Mayor Dolor stressed that his decision is backed by Republic Act No. 9003, entitling the local government to provide for an ecological solid waste management program to ensure the local folk’s public health and the town’s environment.

Bibo however said the natives would not leave the mountain sitio because it is their ‘lupang ninuno’ (ancestral land). The mayor however said that when the municipal government bought the land in 2008 from its private owner, sitio Lapantay was not an ancestral domain.

The Iraya Mangyans refused to sign a resolution endorsing the proposed Categorized Waste Disposal Facility/Sanitary Landfill located on a 10.4-hectare Mangyan village and a coconut farm at sitio Lapantay, Bgy. Villaflor.

A total of 4,000 young coconut trees planted by the natives are already numbered, scheduled for cutting by a private contractor as soon as the April 30 ultimatum passes.

“Ito pong mga itinanim naming mga punong niyog ay bigay pa sa amin ng gobyerno at hindi pa namin lubos na napapakinabangan tapos puputulin na lang basta nila. Di po kami pumapayag,” says Tison Candava, another Iraya Mangyan.


Please sign the online petition via –