NCIP Cordillera Director Roland Calde confirmed that the commission en banc agreed to issue the Certification Precondition for the controversial Chico River Pump Irrigation Project on May 23 despite the violations of the FPIC guidelines committed by the National Irrigation Administration.
The National Irrigation Administration rejected the call to suspend works on the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project made by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. Instead, it will just limit construction activities and urged the immediate issuance of the Certification Precondition regardless of its violations.
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance reiterated that issuing the Certificate of Precondition for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project after its proponent violated the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) guidelines will set a “dangerous and catastrophic precedent.”
On May 7, the Cordillera Regional Development Council held a joint committee meeting to tackle the issues arising from the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project. Two i-Kalingas were there, one is with the protesters who picketed the gathering and the other seated among those talking inside the office. Here are their thoughts on the P4.3 billion irrigation facility funded through a credit agreement with the Chinese government.
With the growing protests and issues surrounding the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP), a joint committee of the Regional Development Council Cordillera was forced to urge the proponent to halt the construction operations.
Apart from the onerous loan agreement, other controversies continue to surface in relation to the P4.3 billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP). For this project, the first and biggest soft loan package offered by China to the Philippines, the Duterte government has trampled the principles of free and prior informed consent (FPIC) and thus the rights of indigenous peoples.
Before the controversial Chico River Pump Irrigation Project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), there was the Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project (now Banaoang Pump Irrigation System or BPIS) in Ilocos Sur. A facility funded and built by the Chinese government that can provide added and solid ground why people should be concerned of the CRPIP loan agreement.
The Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) said that former National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Kalinga provincial officer Natividad Sugguiyao is the one misinforming the people and not the report published by Inquirer.net by correspondent Kimberlie Quitasol.
The Makabayan block is preparing a case to question the constitutionality of the loan agreement between China and the government for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP) at the Supreme Court.
Besides the onerous agreement that governs the financial loan for Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in Pinukpuk, Kalinga province, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance is also raising the violation of indigenous people (IPs) rights committed by the project proponents.
Cordillera People’s Alliance said in a statement issued on Thursday, March 7 that the planners of the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project “did not take into account the overall development plan of the Chico River and the province of Kalinga, such as the building of many hydropower, geothermal and mining projects.”
Former Bayan Muna Representative and Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares said the loan agreement between the government and the People’s Republic of China for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in the Cordillera is not only “onerous” but also “disastrous” for the country.