Board member seeks fairness from NCIP-A A +A
Sunday, January 27, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Board Member Johnny Waguis hopes for fair treatment from the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP).
Waguis who chairs the Committee on Indigenous Peoples and Mining said there are reports of a disparity in the decisions of the NCIP involving communities in the province.
Waguis said there have been reports in the news which he has yet to verify but still hopes “that the rules of the NCIP apply to all.”
He said a recent decision of the NCIP involves the entire municipality of Kapangan in the Free and Prior Informed consent needed by Cordillera Hydro Electric Corporation (COHECO).
The corporation is set to build a hydro project by tunneling water from Kapangan which uses the Amburayan River.
Waguis said this contradicts the NCIP decision to include only 8 barangays in the Mankayan FPIC being sought by Far Southeast Gold Resources, Inc. (FSGRI).
The eight impact areas are barangays Tabio, Bulalacao, Sapid, Poblacion, Suyoc, Paco, Colalo and Cabiten.
Waguis said fairness in NCIP decisions should be observed so as not to create impasses with the various indigenous groups. “There are different procedures for different areas.”
The NCIP was created by the IPRA law to precisely protect and promote the rights of IPs and ensure mining companies or corporate interests will not be detrimental to the current and future generations of the indigenous peoples.
There have been changes in the system of the NCIP last year which are due for implementation aiming to hasten the FPIC process as well as strengthen the rights of the IPs.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 28, 2013.