The Cultural Mapping of Antique Project (CMAP), which the University of the Philippines Visayas implements, conducted a Conference and Disclosure Meeting and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing with four indigenous communities in the province of Antique and the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
These activities are necessary steps in complying with one of the requirements for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). FPIC permits indigenous peoples to give or withhold consent to a project that can affect their lives and their communities. FPIC enables them to negotiate the conditions with which the project will be designed, implemented, monitored, and evaluated.
CMAP, on the other hand, is a priority cultural advocacy of Deputy Speaker Hon. Loren Legarda in partnership with the Department of Education – Antique, UP Visayas, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the Provincial Government of Antique.
The Conference and Disclosure Meetings were held on May 18 – 21, 2021, at the municipalities of Valderrama Tobias Fornier, Laua-an, and Libertad. This was facilitated by the NCIP Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP) Team, Milagrosa Crespo (Community Development Officer III), and Charlen Rosales (Tribal Affairs Assistant II).
The CMA Team, headed by Anna Razel L. Ramirez, the Overall Coordinator of the project, met the elders of theAti Community of Sitio Igcaputol in Tobias Fornier, headed by Tribal Leader Mely Ocario; Iraynon Bukidnon of Brgy. San Agustin in Valderrama, headed by Tribal Leader Wildito Fernando; Iraynon Bukidnon of Brgy. San Ramon in Laua-an, headed by Tribal Leader Roman Samillano; and the Ati community of Brgy. Union in Libertad headed by Tribal Leader Catalina Olarte. The meetings allowed the parties to discuss the intent of the project, including the implications and benefits that the IPs will gain from the project.
After the Disclosure Meeting, the MOA signing was conducted on July 2, 3, and 5, 2021, at Tobias Fornier, Valderrama, and Laua-an, respectively. Due to IATF restrictions, the MOA signing for the Ati Community in Libertad was rescheduled.
All parties agreed upon the detailed premises of the agreement. These will serve as the basis for the issuance of the Certification Precondition, which is yet to be issued after the submission of the report by the IKSP Team to the Regional Director of the NCIP.
After the completion of the project, output validation with the IP communities will be conducted.