By EDGAR MELCHOR P. LAIGO
BAGUIO CITY — Sarah Dekdeken, representing the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) presented urgent recommendations for the genuine implementation of the process for a Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) during the 10th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York,USA this May 16-27.
Addressing the Forum, she challenged the UN system, all states, the Philippine government and especially mining companies to seriously consider these urgent recommendations:
To ensure that government agencies, like the Philippine’s National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) primarily upholds the interests of the indigenous peoples and not be mere lapdogs for mining companies.
To ensure that the process for the FPIC shall not in any way be railroaded or manipulated in favor of mining companies and concerned government agencies.
That the Philippine government shall support House Bill No, 887 filed in the Lower House of Congress of the Philippines, seeking review of the FPIC guidelines for mining and other development projects especially in ancestral domains.
The review aims to consolidate proposed amendments to the 2006 FPIC guidelines of the NCIP based on actual cases of FPIC irregularities and inputs from various indigenous communities.
This will lead to the crafting of a new FPIC guideline that is consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other relevant international instruments.
The Philippine government’s aggressive promotion of the mining industry purposely for economic growth and development continues to aggravate the plunder of ancestral lands and the non-recognition of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination.
Violations of indigenous peoples’ right to the FPIC process persist even with the existence of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of the Philippines and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. # nordis.net