The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) issued a new Certification Precondition (CP) for the National Irrigation Administration’s (NIA) Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project (PRBIDP) Feasibility Study. It covers the 26,800 hectares of land located within the ancestral domain of the Panay-Bukidnon Indigenous Cultural Communities in the 20 barangays of Tapaz, Capiz.

The CP is a document that states that the Free, Prior and Informed consent has been obtained by NIA from the concerned IP communities.

With the issuance of the CP, NIA will continue the geologic exploration and survey works for the high dam and its appurtenant structures in the ancestral domain to complete the project’s detailed engineering design (DED).  These activities were suspended in 2019 due to the expiration of the CP.

Since NCIP does not have guidelines on CP extension, NIA processed it as new application and conducted the required consultations. The justification on the delay of the survey works in the ancestral domain was submitted by NIA VI to the NCIP during the IDC VI Special Meeting to Expand the Infrastructure Push and Resilience in Panay Island on November 15, 2022.

The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) and Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) VI facilitated coordination meetings, endorsed a resolution, and sent feedback letters to NCIP and NIA to expedite the issuance of the new CP.

When completed, the PRBIDP will address the environmental degradation issues, such as forest denudation, erosion of the Panay watershed and the heavy siltation of the Panay River, which are some of the factors causing flash floods in the Province of Capiz. /EAMPareja NEDAVI-PMED