This post has already been read 288 times!
KIBUNGAN, Benguet – Concerned indigenous peoples (IP) leaders in the various barangays in this municipality petitioned the Cordillera office of the National commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-CAR) to suspend the scheduled free and prior informed consent (FPIC) proceedings for the 500-megawatt pump storage hydro project in barangay Badeo primarily due to questions on the competence of the persons that undertook the feasibility study and the experts commissioned to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the project.
In a 27-page petition, the IPs demanded the Coheco Badeo Corporation, proponent of the project, to present documents for the appreciation of the concerned parties during the hearing to be scheduled, particularly, Complete and final feasibility study of the proposed project signed and sealed by the person who prepared it; Essential plans and specifications of the project;
Actual survey showing (not merely map generated through goggle) the exact location of the proposed project showing the names of landowners, Sitios, and Barangays that will be affected; Indicative maps showing the route of transmission lines from sub-station to grid, tracing points, required right of way, sub-station layout, and capacity load, general development plan, and preliminary hydroelectric facility designs, and related essential data; Profile of persons to be involved in the implementation of the project; Articles of Incorporation and By-laws of the applicant; Latest General Information Sheet showing the current officers and board of directors and their respective shares; Latest audited financial statement of the applicant that is prepared by a reputable independent auditor; Proofs of financial capacity of the applicant to finance the pre-development phase and development phase of the project; Identity and financial capacity of the owners and board of directors of the applicant; Environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the proposed project and the transmission lines; Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC); The exact coordinates and water level projection of the dam most specially the lower dam to determine the possible, and evident adverse impacts of the project to low lying lands in the domain and other adjacent domains; Actual topographic and parcellary survey of the project area indicating how many trees to be cut and how many landowners to be affected including the lot area to be used by the applicant; Clear first the existence of ambiguities noted by the FBI team in their executive report relative to the FBI activities for the proposed project of the applicant; and, Submit the names of the applicant’s representatives in the FPIC process and their expertise/technical qualifications.
Further, the NCIP-CAR was requested of issue an Order ordering the applicant to produce and submit the contracts, agreements, and related documents of its transaction with the Chinese firm as mentioned in their press release headlined in the Baguio Chronicle May 27-June 2, 2017 issue, and any and all agreements, memorandum of agreements, memorandum of understanding, shareholders agreements; An order be issued directing the FBI Team to scrutinize, and study the above described documents to be considered in their FBI report; An order be issued to re-conduct the FBI for the proposed project to determine the affected areas based on the documents to be submitted by the applicant as mentioned above; An order be issued transmitting the endorsement together with the FBI findings to the ADO for appropriate action as provided by law and An order be issued inhibiting this Honorable Office from taking action on the activities for the proposed project until further orders from the ADO.
However, Coheco Badeo Corporation insiders branded the petition for suspension as a desperate act to derail the conduct of the FPIC process which will be scheduled in the different barangays from June 15 to July 3, saying that their arguments are allegedly baseless.
The source added Coheco Badeo Corporation will definitely answer the petition point by point in the proper forum and that it will adhere to whatever rulings that will be rendered by the NCIP-Car as an offshoot of the said petition.
In fact, the first wave of the FPIC will be done by the NCIP-CAR so there is no basis in the filing of the petition considering the fact that all the pertinent issues will be clarified during the community assemblies in the barangays that will be called for the purpose.
“We will be awaiting for whatever will be the decision of the NCIP-CAR on the petition and we will willingly respond to it and face the petitioners in the proper forum,” the source stressed.