The Regional Development Council (RDC) and the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) MIMAROPA conducted the Orientation on Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP) Guidelines, as culminating activity of the RDC Week celebration on September 24 through video conference. 

The activity aimed to foster a common understanding of the FPIC and IKSP guidelines and to orient RDC members and the region’s stakeholders on the different programs and services of NCIP MIMAROPA.

A total of 208 participants consisting of RDC officers and members and indigenous peoples mandatory representatives (IPMRs) joined in the activity through Zoom. group of indigenous peoples (IPs) also joined their IPMRs during the activity.

​​​​​​​In her welcome message, NCIP Regional Director Marie Grace T. Pascua emphasized the importance of ensuring the recognition, promotion, and protection of the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs)/IPs’ interest, rights, and well-being. She highlighted that in making MIMAROPA more participative, more sustainable, and more resilient, the ICCs/IPs should be considered and should not be left behind.

RDC Chairperson and Romblon Governor Jose R. Riano affirmed in his message that the Council will continue to support NCIP MIMAROPA in its formulation and implementation of policies, plans, programs, and projects for the economic, social, and cultural development of the ICCs/IPs. He encouraged the RDC members to observe the FPIC and IKSP guidelines as they introduce and implement plans, programs, projects, activities, and other undertakings involving ICCs/IPs and as they conduct research activities that affect the ICCs/IPs.

During the first session, Pascua provided a brief background of the ICCs/IPs in MIMAROPA and the mandate, structure, and strategic work framework of NCIP. She also tackled the 11 building blocks of a resilient, responsive, and relevant ICCs/IPs ancestral domains and issues and concerns that they encounter.

NCIP MIMAROPA Provincial Officer for Oriental Mindoro Reynante S. Luna discussed the FPIC and IKSP Guidelines. He highlighted the plans, programs, projects and activities requiring FPIC and its  process from the pre-field-based investigation conference up to issuance of certificate of non-overlap. Luna also presented the NCIP Administrative Order (AO) No. 1 of 2021 or the IKSP and Customary Laws Research and Documentation Guidelines wherein he emphasized the exception, primary considerations, and the process for researches and documentations covered by the AO, from filing of application up to submission of output. 

Meanwhile, Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) Technical Working Group (TWG) Consultant Dr. Adrienne A. Mabanta presented the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) projects for MIMAROPA particularly the Indie-Genius Peoples (InGen) Hub and Indigenous Potentials for Peace and Resilience Academy (IPPRA). The InGen Hub is a marketplace where the IPs can promote and sell their products while IPPRA aims to capacitate the IPMRs, IP leaders, IP professionals and IP youth with 21st century leadership skills. Mabanta also informed the participants on how to participate in the said projects. 

An open forum was facilitated at the end of the orientation to address the questions and concerns of the RDC MIMAROPA members and IP communities. 

The RDC Week is celebrated every fourth week of September every year in commemoration of the birth of the RDCs as the key structure for regional planning and for integrated local planning and programming under the Presidential Proclamation 1164, s. 1998.