chapter  11
The Politics of Lands at Risk in a Philippine Frontier 1
WithMaria Elena Lopez
Pages 19

The politics of lands at risk involves competition between indigenous communities and migrant farmers in the course of frontier development. This chapter describes national policies affecting the allocation of land among cultural minorities, which include the Palaw'an. It examines local patterns of political mobilization around land as they are affected by extralocal factors. Land policies falling within the framework of "national integration" have been formulated to help the politically powerful by decreasing pressure for land reform and present a public image that government was trying to minimize inter-ethnic conflict. Displacement without political recourse occurred in the 1950s. Unsupervised migration to Palawan was accompanied by the absence of government regulation to protect the land rights of indigenous occupants. Settlers made their own arrangements to acquire land and expanded throughout the province. Displacement with political recourse, specifically through the intervention of the Commission on National Integration, began in the sixties and lasted until the abolition of the Commission in 1975.