Revamp of NCIP FPIC team for hydro project

KIBUNGAN, Benguet  – The Cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-CAR) is currently scouting for a replacement of the head of the agency’s free and prior informed consent (FPIC) team before it will be able to schedule a special community consultative assembly (CCA) in barangay Badeo in relation to the proposed 500-megawatt pump storage project of the Coheco Badeo Corporation.

 

NCIP-CAR regional director lawyer Roland P. Calde said FPIC team leader lawyer Seferino Lumiqued was already relieved of his duties and responsibilities following numerous complaints on his alleged bias in favour of the proponents during the conduct of the previous community consultative assembly in the said barangay that serves as host for the project.

“We are still currently scouting for a replacement of our FPIC team leader before we will be able to schedule the conduct of the mandatory special community consultative assembly to put an end to the numerous issues being raised against the conduct of the previous assembly in Badeo. We are being prodded by the proponent to immediately schedule the conduct of the assembly but we have yet to ascertain who will be the head of our FPIC team,” Calde stressed.

The NCIP-CAR official said that the indigenous peoples (IPs) in Badeo will be invited to actively participate in the special community consultative assembly for them to air their views and have their votes counted whether or not to allow the project to push through.

Earlier, the NCIP-Car was able to uncover alleged discrepancies in the conduct of the previous community assemblies because the proponents failed to present to the barangays the economic benefits of the project and that the assemblies were even allegedly railroaded.

According to him, the FPIC head should be a lawyer or a chief of office of the agency pursuant to the qualifications enshrined in the FPIC guidelines crafted by the agency for the said purpose.

Concerned Badeo IPs claimed that the previous FPIC team leader allegedly manipulated the FPIC results in the said barangay because he facilitated the conduct of voting by the pre-selected members of the Council of Elders amidst the clamor of the participants of the assembly for the casting of votes whether or not they are in favour of the project.

The IPs also complained that during the selection of the composition of the Council of Elders, those who were identified to be against the project were allegedly excluded from being a member of the council and that barangay officials who were in favour of the project were the ones that were considered for the composition of the council.

The sources want the NCIP-CAR not to succumb to the alleged machinations being done by the management of Coheco Badeo Corporation in the selection of the next FPIC team and the schedule of the special assembly considering that it should be the greater interest of the IPs that should be considered in deciding whether or not to support the environmentally-critical project that could result to the massive displacement of IPs from their ancestral domain.

Further, other IPs in Kapangan and Santol, La Union should be consulted by the company and for them to give their consent before any negotiations for whatever agreement will be done but no agreement should be crafted unless the IPs in all the affected domains shall have given their consent.

By HENT

 

Benguet Destinations

Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad is know to be the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” because of the strawberry fields. Visitors can experience strawberry picking and also taste different products made from strawberry like the strawberry ice cream and strawberry “taho”.

Asin Hot Springs

Located at the outskirts of the city of Baguio, this attraction gives it’s visitors the chance to indulge in serious relaxation. Asin Hot Springs has been knwon to do wonders for the mind, body and soul because of the spring’s natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride.

BenCab Museum

The BenCab museum, located at KM 6. Asin Road, houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions. The Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries highlight the artist’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The smaller exhibition rooms contain other collections accumulated by BenCab through the years.

Bell Church

The home to beautiful landscaped gardens and intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. Bell church holds some artifacts about Buddhism and literatures about the history of China.

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines which is 2,922 meters above sea level. The view from the top of Mt. Pulag never fails to amaze its climbers.

Kabayan Mummies

Also know as the Fire Mummies of the Philippines, the Kabayan Mummies are from the Ibaloi tribe of Benguet. This have been included in the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World by a non-profit organization that focuses on the preservation of important historical monuments and sites.

Ambuclao Dam

The Ambuclao dam is popularly known as the biggest rock filled dam in the Far East and is considered as one of the major projects in Luzon that feeds electricity to the grid lines of Luzon.

Rose Gardens

Rose lovers will surely be pleased with Rose Gardens. A famous tourist attraction located in La Trinidad. Here, you will find a large variety of roses, chrysanthemums and other ornamental plants.

Mt. Ugo

This is considered to be one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras. It is the highest mountain located in Tinongdan, Itogon via the Benguet-Vizcayay boundary that boasts of stunning views of neighboring mountains and the great Luzon valley.

Kalugong View Point

A trek to Mount Kalugong is something that adventure seekers and nature lovers woudn't miss. The Kalugong View Point will give you a breathtaking experience and a panoramic view of the La Trinidad Valley and ther villages.
EL Kikasa