NCIP exec in mining forum: ‘We have more to learn’-A A +A
Monday, June 2, 2014
ITOGON, BENGUET – "Da kami ti NCIP, adu ti nagbasulan mi. Adu pay lang ti biruken mi nga adalen. (We at the NCIP, we have our faults. We have a lot to learn).”
Commissioner Zenaida Pawid of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples acknowledged this in a public forum on small-scale mining held at the Itogon gym, May 30.
This developed following an advice for the indigenous peoples of Itogon, especially the small-scale miners, to be careful not to peddle their ancestral lands to non-members of their families or non-IPs to ensure their rights over their lands will remain.
She said the NCIP will be very pleased to partner and cooperate with them saying "tingelen yo ti ima mi tapnu haan tayo nga malmes."
Pawid expressed the NCIP will be grateful if the public reminds the agency of its functions and not immediately be condemned for its lapses.
"Ngem nu agloko-loko kami met, kugtaran yo da kami basit. Tik-ulan yo ti ulo mi, haan nga dagijay igegenek yo. Haan nga kasjay,” she appealed.
She added IPs can come up to them and express their sentiments with discretion.
The commissioner ended with an encouragement for the miners to unify and be guided by the Republic Act 8371 or The Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA); the New Mining Code; the Small Scale Mining Act; and the Mining Executive Order 79 which institutionalizes and implements reforms in the Philippine mining sector to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining, to achieve sustainable mining in their locale.
The NCIP has faced numbers of issues including their support to the mining project expansion of Far Southeast Gold Resources Inc. and Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company in Mankayan; the petition of IP organizations calling for a revamp in NCIP; and the allegedly questionable land titles issued by the committee on government properties, public places and forest reservations in Baguio City listing the Wright Park, Forbes Park Reservation, Botanical Garden, the Busol watershed and Casa Vallejo among others.
In October 22 last year, Baguio Representative Nicasio Aliping filed Resolution 419 ordering the House committee on indigenous peoples to probe on titles issued by the NCIP.
Early this year, the issuance of Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles (CALTs) by the NCIP was suspended following the Section 21 of Joint Department of Agrarian Reform-Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Land Authority-NCIP Administrative Order No. 01-12 which states that ancestral domain/ancestral land titling by the NCIP over identified contentious areas “shall remain suspended unless resolved by the Joint Provincial/Regional/National Committee”.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 03, 2014.