As a genuine effort to honor the conditions of ECC for the Kaliwa Dam Project, the MWSS reached out to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of General Nakar through a consultation and dialogue attended by representatives of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. The meeting was held on November 12, 2019 at the LWUA Hotel and was attended by Dumagat/Remontado/Agta leaders.
The right to decide to participate also implies the right to refuse the consultation process. The consultation reached a positive outcome largely thanks to the willingness of the IPs to participate.
MWSS takes seriously the extensive process for a meaningful consultation with the IPs and the local communities. Hence, MWSS does not consider the duty to obtain the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) merely as a procedural process but a substantive mechanism to ensure the respect of the IPs right.
FPIC for MWSS is not merely informing and getting consent: it is about the effective and meaningful participation of IPs, including the indigenous women.
The course of meeting focused on the joint design and endorsement of the consultation process so that they will have full understanding of the proposed actions or decisions it’s impact on their rights and way of life.
MWSS answered the IPs specific concerns on resettlement, education, culture, health, environment, justice, and livelihood through specific programs and projects that will be given to them. One of the IPs specific request is the construction of a tribal hall for their consensus building activities which they hope to ground break in March 2020.