LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Vice Governor Crescensio Pacalso is awaiting the appearance of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Pacalso said the NCIP has yet to answer the resolution of the Provincial Board on its position to halt all talks for a geothermal project in Bokod town.

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He said the board is most likely to send another invitation to the NCIP but will request the presence of NCIP-Cordillera Director Amador Batay-an.

The board's decision was backed by Governor Nestor Fongwan, who does not only want to stop all talks between Clean Rock Renewable Energy and indigenous people's leaders for the firm's free and prior informed consent but is also calling for an end of the project all together.

Pacalso said there was no reaction from the NCIP on the provincial board's decision. "They have to submit their formal reply."

Groups doubt the validity of a second round of voting administered by the NCIP in August for the FPIC.

Last year, the Provincial Board here decided to suspend negotiations between the company and Bokod folk until these doubts are cleared.

Pacalso said the invitation will be given by the end of the month so the NCIP can appear by February to answer all questions about the project. (Maria Elena Catajan)