Tuesday, December 9, 2014
NIA strengthens partnership with Bugkalot Tribe
NIA, Quezon City – The recent meeting between the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), LGU officials, and the Bugkalot Confederation on December 3, 2014 ended with a positive note as Dr. Florencio F. Padernal took on the lead in clearing the path to resolve issues regarding the tribe’s claims.
Two major issues raised by the tribe, led by Mayor of Nagtipunan, Quirino and Bugkalot Chieftain Rosario K. Camma, include the percentage share of the tribe from the gross income derived from CalEnergy Power Plant’s power generation and at least 10% environmental release from the dam weirs from Casecnan and Taan Rivers.
According to a statement from the Bugkalot Confederation dated November 18, 2014, the 10% environmental water release from dam weirs required as per NWRB Resolution 01-0901 dated September 24, 2001 was ignored resulting to the drying up of the Casecnan and Taan rivers thus affecting the aquatic resources of the rivers and sacrificing the livelihood of many Bugkalot tribesmen.
Nueva Vizcaya Lone District Representative Carlos M. Padilla added that the the most expensive fish in the country, the ludong, started to disappear in the Casecnan River. “All the water goes to Casecnan in Nueva Ecija affecting other localities and creating ‘social problems’ that push the people to seek help from local politicians,” he added.
To address the issues, Dr. Padernal pushed that a timeline of events be prepared and submitted before the year ends to retrace the history of the issues between NIA, CalEnergy, CMIPP, and the Bugkalot tribe. He tapped the NCIP to submit and collate the documents related to the issue to establish an objective history.
Also, the NIA Administrator emphasized on the importance of a convergence meeting among the agencies concerned and stakeholders in January 2015 to create a comprehensive and doable action plan that will address the issues on the project.
Abakada Party-list Representative Jonathan dela Cruz expressed his gratitude to Dr. Padernal for the initiatives that will be undertaken by the agency in line with the concerns of the Bugkalot tribe.
Also present in the meeting were Jerry Pasigian and Robert Cabarroguis of the Bugkalot Confederation; Percy Brawner and Atty. Petronilo Dubadeb of NCIP; and other NIA officials.
NIA Central Office, Quezon City – Dr. Florencio F. Padernal led NIA officials in meeting with the Bugkalot Confederation on December 3, 2014 to facilitate the resolution of issues regarding the tribe’s claims pertaining to the implementation of the Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) in Nueva Ecija. Attending the meeting were NIA Deputy Administrators Estrella E. Icasiano and Erdolfo B. Domingo, Atty. Pepito Padilla of Legal Services, PAIS Manager Pilipina P. Bermudez, CMIPP Manager Alexander Coloma, and Operations Manager Florentino David. Also present were Nueva Vizcaya Lone District Representative Carlos M. Padilla, Abakada Party-list Rep. Jonatahn dela Cruz, Nagtipunan, Quirino Mayor and Bugkalot Chieftain Rosario K. Camma, Jerry Pasigian and Robert Cabarroguis of the Bugkalot Confederation, and Percy Brawner and Atty. Petronio Dubadeb from NCIP.
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