Informed consent process may take longer-A A +A
Monday, October 22, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The new process involving the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) may not follow the required six months as stipulated by the guidelines, said Legal Officer Manuel Lumiqued of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
Lumiqued appeared before the Provincial Board on Monday to clarify the guidelines for the FPIC. He said “there are a lot of unforeseen which we cannot control.”
The six-month timeframe for the FPIC procedure will fast-track the whole process for mine firms. But, if six months are not enough for the community to assess the project, approval may not be given.
The consensus of all members of the community during the FPIC process is to be determined in accordance with their respective customary laws and practices, free from any external manipulation, interference coercion, and obtained after fully disclosing the intent and scope of the activity, in a language and process understandable to the community.
Luniqued said under the new guidelines, the indigenous cultural communities (ICC) carry more weight in the decision making rather than the indigenous peoples’ organizations (IPO) of each area.
The ICC represents the whole of the domain of the indigenous peoples while the IPO are representatives of affected areas, approval from the ICC will determine the consent of the domain and the affected area, with of course, input from the IPO.
However, the IPO will be in charge of determining talks on royalties and sharing, leaving the ICC share to its digression.
Lumiqued said that ideally, there should only be one IPO from the whole domain.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 23, 2012.