February 6, 2023

A mini hydroelectric power plant (MHP) will soon be erected along the Guihingon River separating the Asipulo and Kiangan ancestral domains of Ifugao.
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Commission en banc approved the granting of a Certification Precondition to Likud 2 MHP, a project proposed by the First Ifugao Renewable Energy Corporation (Fireco).
In 2017, Fireco applied for the issuance of CP to its project before the NCIP-Cordillera. The Free Prior and Informed Consent process began in the same year.
During the Commission en banc sessions, NCIP-Ifugao Community Development Officer Norina Habiatan said the FPIC process was conducted with all the concerned 27 IP communities within the ancestral domains of Asipulo and Kiangan.
The decision-making process used by the IPs was based on the customary process called huhumangan.
Habiatan said the IPs gave their consent to the project through the signing of a resolution of consent (ROC).
A signing of memorandum of agreement followed after Fireco accepted the community’s terms.
The FPIC process took more than two years due to the long consensus building stage among IPs.
“The long and novel customary decision-making of the IPs has no substitute and should be respected. It is in this process that all issues and concerns which will affect the IPs in their domain relative to the MHP will be taken into account. Issues and concerns will be discussed and decided between and among the IPs themselves,” said NCIP-Cordillera Technical Management Division Chief Michael Umaming.
Likud 2 MHP is seen to generate approximately 560 kilowatts of energy. As stated in the MOA, Fireco committed a royalty share of P2.05/ kilowatt hour to the Kiangan and Asipulo ancestral domains.
Fireco assured during the Commission en banc session that there will be no displacement of IPs and that rice fields will be properly irrigated.
They likewise committed to shoulder the school fees of students from the ancestral domains who will enrol at Riverview Polytechnic and Academic School Incorporated. – Rocky Ngalob