TWO government agencies in the Cordillera is working closely together for the improved action plan to facilitate the implementation of the Integrated Natural Resources Environmental Management Project (Inremp) in the region.

National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) represented by Engr. Victor Bumatnong and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional director Ralph Pablo, together with other technical personnel from both DENR and NCIP recently met for the implementation of the Inremp.

During the meeting, the DENR and the NCIP agreed on some concerns regarding the implementation of the Inremp, a foreign-assisted project.

One of the agreements reached for the Inremp is the consultation and validation of project implementation and activities should be conducted for each ancestral domain.

Also, the travel plans of validating teams must correspond with the prepared provincial work and financial plan (WFP).

Pablo stressed the work and financial plans of provinces with Inremp should be finalized in coordination with the provincial NCIP officials and to be submitted and consolidated in the DENR regional office.

“The use of funds released by the DENR should be used solely for Inremp activities in accordance with the government accounting manual and project administration manual,” Pablo added.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was also entered into and signed by the NCIP and DENR represented by then Commissioner Lawyer Leonor Oralde-Quintayo and Secretary Gina Lopez, respectively.

The MOA spells out the functions of each Office wherein DENR will provide NCIP the areas covered by Inremp and the basic Inremp documents, assist the NCIP in the validation process, provide technical and financial resources based on the approved WFP and to ensure the implementation of social safeguards with clear guidelines for protecting the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples.

Likewise, the NCIP will provide to the DENR some information such as list of maps of areas covered by ancestral lands and domains whether these areas have approved Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title or Certificate of Ancestral Land Title, still under application, and some other information regarding the areas covered by Inremp.

They will also facilitate the validation process, support the social preparation activities, project identification and selection activities during project development workshops and assistance to communities as well as provide technical assistance to strengthen Indigenous Peoples' community organizations.

Jointly, the DENR and NCIP will ensure a culture-sensitive facilitation strategies of Inremp in IP areas consistent with Indigenous People's Rights Act, the operationalization of region-specific validation processes and the effective working relationship between the parties.

With the compliance of the provisions of the MOA, the project activities of the Inremp shall be facilitated especially for the projects needing the Certificate of Pre-condition which only the NCIP could issue. (PR)