The MWSS has advanced to the next step of the Certification Precondition (CP) process for the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for the Kaliwa Dam Project, after the MOA negotiations with the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Quezon Province (conducted from October 13-15, 2020);  and the IPs of Rizal Province (conducted from November 3-5, 2020), were concluded through the facilitation by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).    During the negotiation, authorized elders and tribal leaders, including their alternates, outlined the cooperation, collaboration, and obligations by the MWSS and the parties involved in implementing the Kaliwa Dam Project in respect to the benefits, and livelihood projects of the indigenous peoples.

 

From the start of the FPIC application process in 2018 until the completion of the public hearings and community assemblies in November last year, MWSS has adhered to the set guidelines on consultations, dialogues, and interactions as part of the information dissemination and capacity building process.   The MWSS worked tirelessly to prepare and guide the IPs in making choices that include, but go beyond, choosing between saying yes or no to the project but also collectively choose the possible negotiated options that will be protective of their health, culture, religion, way of life.

 

The negotiations for the Agreement would have started right after the official consensus and decision making process documentation by the NCIP, but the stay at home and travel restrictions due to the pandemic meant that physical meetings, which is inherent in community formal exchange of views was no longer possible.  In this respect, the Kaliwa Dam Project team ensured that information is accessible, so that the nature of the negotiation will be oriented towards mutually acceptable measures to which the IPs will have weighed their decisions on matters like compensation, land access, agreement making, and community development initiatives.

 

The last step to the FPIC process is the validation and signing of the MOA and the action from the NCIP.