BAGUIO CITY – An official of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on Wednesday said they are not opposed to mining projects and developments but only want to be consulted on all stages of a project.
NCIP chairperson Jennifer Pia Sibug-Las, during the Community Relations (ComRel) Conference of the four-day Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) Conference that started at the Cap Convention and Trade Center in Camp John Hay on Tuesday, said IPs recognize that mining and other development projects can contribute to an improved livelihood and economic stability for the sector.
She said mining companies and other development projects empower communities through sustainable practices, foster self-determination, and enhance the capacity to engage in decision-making processes that affect their lives and resources -- the reason for the need to be consulted because it involves the land and the rights of the IPs.
“We just want to be treated as equals, your co-equal in the development of this country,” she said.
Sibug-Las urged companies to always pay preferential attention and consideration to cultural sustainability, safety, security and stability.
She also mentioned that NCIP has limitations in its task to improve the condition of the IPs and ICCs.
“We cannot on our own help everybody. We recognize you, the industry players, the ComRel officers, as the possible source of a better future, a clearer future for the new Philippines not only for the Filipinos but for the IPs,” asded Sibug-Las, a Manobo princess who is also the commissioner in charge for Central Mindanao. (PNA)