FPIC up for Whang-od designs

A COMMUNITY consent must be acquired by New Era top officials for designs distinct to Kalinga, said National Commission for Indigenous Peoples Free Prior Informed Consent (NCIP-FPIC) spokesperson Rocky Ngalob on Wednesday afternoon, November 20.

Ngalob oriented New Era top officials on Wednesday on the legal and indigenous process surrounding the FPIC.

“It is without any shade of doubt the Kalinga Battok (Wha’tok) is classified as Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSPs) and Customary Laws. Therefore, any move for its utilization beyond its traditional purpose; say for example, documentation, and/or appropriation for commerce, requires FPIC,” Ngalob said.

NCIP reported New Era has agreed to undergo the process and file an application document for the issuance of certification precondition to cause the start of the FPIC process.

“As a general rule, ownership of IKSPs is lodged to the community wherein as a collective body, they will decide whether or not they would allow or reject the utilization of the IKSP by a party for purposes outside its traditional intent,” Ngalob said.

The NCIP officer added Whang-od as a single individual cannot give consent in favor to another party for the utilization of IKSP Battok considering most of the designs are traditional.

It is a different story if those designs were originally conceptualized and/or crafted by her, wherein Whang-od may enjoy and hold ownership thereof.

“A better illustration of this is the Cordillera Weaving industry. Narda’s Weaving cannot be compelled to undertake FPIC for the purpose of securing consent from the community. This because, Narda’s weaving designs were originally conceptualized and crafted by Narda herself. Narda’s Weaving acquired inspiration from the traditional Cordillera designs but made a different design which is original to Narda’s Weaving,” Ngalob added.

An IKSP, according to the NCIP, is defined by a prevailing NCIP Administrative Order No. 1 series of 2012 as: “, institutions, mechanisms, and technologies comprising a unique body of knowledge evolved through time that embody patterns of relationships between and among peoples and between peoples, their lands and resource environment, including such spheres of relationships which may include social, political, cultural, economic, religious spheres, and which are the direct outcome of the indigenous peoples, responses to certain needs consisting of adaptive mechanisms which have allowed indigenous peoples to survive and thrive within their given socio-cultural and biophysical conditions.”

If these IKSPs entail documentation and/or utilization of the same other than what it is intended purpose, may it be, for public consumption and for commerce, it requires FPIC.

The requirement of FPIC is anchored on the basis of social justice wherein IPs, as the owners of IKSP, are entitled to be first informed of the documentation and utilization of their property (IKSP), and to give consent on whether to agree and/or reject the intended purpose of the IKSP.

IPs are the collective owners of IKS.


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