Cagayan de Oro City – After years of waiting, the Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management Project (INREMP) in Bukidnon Upper River Basin (BURB) received the Certification Precondition (CP) from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). The certificate attests to the affected IPs’ granting of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to the project’s development activities in BURB.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 proscribes government instrumentalities from “issuing, renewing, or granting any concession, license or lease, or entering into any production-sharing agreement, without prior certification from the NCIP that the area affected does not overlap with any ancestral domain.”
By issuing the Certification Precondition (CP), NCIP permits the affected indigenous peoples to implement INREMP’s Natural Resources Management (NRM) subprojects within their ancestral domains.
Atty. Pinky Grace Pareja, director of NCIP in Region 10, signed the certificate before officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), namely Executive Director Arleigh J. Adorable of DENR in Region 10, Assistant Secretary for West Mindanao Operations Jim O. Sampulna, and Director of Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Nonito M. Tamayo. Scores of indigenous people from Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon also witnessed the activity.
“I am filled with gratitude to INREMP for being with us from the beginning. I must say this project was made to benefit the lumad (indigenous people). It [INREMP] has given us better lives,” Datu Salvador M. Lugnasan said.
Lugnasan is the chairperson of Tagmaray, Kalipay, San Luis, Mabuhay Association Inc. (TAKASAMA), one of indigenous people’s organizations (IPOs).
Funding checks valued at a little under Php 6 M were awarded to the 12 PO-beneficiaries for the implementation of NRM subprojects in BURB. (INREMP/ Irish Viola Santa Ana)