Philippine Journal of Public Administration, Vol 53, No 1-2 (2009)

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Harnessing Geo-Information Technology for Community Empowerment and Identity: The Case of the Bukidnon Tribe in the Philippines

Rizalino B. Cruz

Abstract


This article chronicles the long and arduous journey of the Daraghuyan community to legally claim its ancestral domain. Key to the success of their struggle is the use of the geographic information system technology, which the community accessed through the support of a local nonprofit organization and foreign funding agencies. The community was able to use the GIS technology to their full advantage as the project addressed critical issues like territorial boundaries and self-determination. Success of the project lies in the fact that the technology was able to empower the community in an organic manner. Indigenous knowledge on mapping was fused with the new technology and the community’s own council of elders was made to play a leading role in the implementation of the project.