FPIC is critical process that protects the rights of our country’s indigenous peoples over their ancestral domain. That is why it is disturbing to note that 80% of Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) signed following an FPIC process in the country are not implemented. This data comes from a study made by the GIZ in 2013 of FPIC processes in the Philippines.
The FPIC is a mechanism created by law under the Republic Act No. 8371 (also known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act IPRA of 1997) that is envisioned to empower people. More specifically, it used the word “self-determination” as the key principle guiding the law.
The CoRe Group has worked on several pre-FPIC processes across the country. Mostly, our work was geared towards building the relationships between company, community and the local government. The goal of our programs is not directly to get a positive FPIC result but to generate genuine participation from all parties by creating a venue for active engagement and collaboration. Here are four key observations gathered from our work:
Ultimately, the FPIC process is a human process. It may be mandated by law and prescribed on paper but behind it are people.
(Written by Mia Theresa Quiaoit-Corpus. September 2017)