DA, DOF and NIA hold dialogue with Bugkalot Tribe

October 16, 2013, 7:30 AM

The Department of Agriculture (DA) together with the Department of Finance and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) met with members of the Bugkalot Confederation last October 10, 2013 regarding their proposed shares of proceeds from the Casecnan Multi-purpose Irrigation and Power Project at the NIA Central Office in Diliman, Quezon City.

During the meeting, DA Undersecretary Antonio Fleta, NIA Administrator Claro V. Maranan, NIA Legal Department head Atty. Genever Dionio, Department of Finance Representative Raine Robinson and CalEnergy Philippines represented by Atty. Edwin Zales talked with confederation members led by their overall chieftain Mayor Rosario Camma and their counsel Atty. Marlow Licudine regarding issues to be resolved in their share of the proceeds from the said irrigation and power project based on Section 7, Paragraph B of the Indigenous People’s Right Act (IPRA).

Undersecretary Fleta said that the confederation needs to prepare a formal proposal letter on the percentage share for the Bugkalot Tribe from the project’s proceeds. This was supported by NIA Administrator Maranan and other government officials present.

The undersecretary also assured the confederation that this will be studied thoroughly by the DA, DOF, NIA and CE Casecnan to come up with the necessary solution that will result in a win-win situation for all parties involved in the issue.

"Ang importante po ay magkaroon tayo ng pagkakaintindihan. Sana po ay maging mahinahon tayo at pipilitin nating ma-resulba ito. Atin din pong iparating sa mga nakatataas sa atin at ito po ay ating gagawin sa lalong madaling panahon," Fleta said.

The NIA Administrator said that he, together with the other government agencies, will also do all that they can to solve and help the Bugkalot Confederation. "The Bugkalot Confederation has a legitimate claim that’s why they agreed to the project," Maranan added.

At the end of the meeting, the confederation agreed to prepare a formal letter and both parties agreed to continue to work on the matter so they can resolve the issue at hand.

NIA Strategic Planning Workshop. Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala (center) together with National Irrigation Administration (NIA) head Claro Maranan (second from right), NIA Senior deputy Administrator Felix Razo (standing behind Secretary Alcala) and newly-designated Deputy Administrator for Engineering and Operations Modesto Membreve (right) listen to Project Manager Gene Ragodon as he explained his presentation during the vision-mission activity of the NIA Strategic Planning Workshop that took place from September 30 to October 3, 2013 at the Mansion Garden Hotel at the Subic Freeport Zone. NIA Directors, Irrigation Management Officers and the Department Heads from the Central Office participated the said workshop that focused on enhancing performance leadership.