The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA Region took part in the Orientation on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP) guidelines and other programs conducted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) MIMAROPA Region, in coordination with the Regional Development Council (RDC), September 24, via Zoom.

As one of the activities for the RDC Week, this undertaking participated by the Council member agencies and stakeholders sought to foster a common understanding of the FPIC, IKSP guidelines, and the programs and services of the NCIP which is mandated to “protect and promote the interest and well-being of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) with due regard to their beliefs, customs, traditions, and institutions.”

Among the objectives of the NCIP Administrative Order No. 3 Series of 2012 or “The Revised Guidelines on the Exercise of FPIC and Related Processes” is to “protect the rights of the ICCs/IPs in the introduction and implementation of plans, programs, projects, activities, and other undertakings that will affect them and their ancestral domains to ensure their economic, social and cultural well-being.”

In relation to the minerals industry, Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 states that no ancestral land shall be opened for mining operations without the prior consent of the ICC concerned. In the event of an agreement with an ICC pursuant to the Act, parties involved shall agree to royalty payment which will form part of a trust fund for the socio-economic well-being of the community concerned. 

ICC/IP owners of ancestral domains are mandated to receive royalty payments of not less than one percent of the value of the gross output of minerals sold – the proper management of which is also being monitored by the NCIP.

In the recently concluded #MineResponsibility MIMAROPA Stakeholders’ Forum of the MGB MIMAROPA Region, NCIP MIMAROPA Regional Director Marie Grace Pascua emphasized that IPs are not just mere beneficiaries, but partners for development in the mining industry. She added that there must be an inclusive business model wherein the rights of the IPs are respected – one where they are recognized, promoted, and protected.