Issue of October 8, 2017
Mt. Province

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IPs of Mountain Province grants FPIC to heirloom rice research
by Jenny M. Dayao

Indigenous peoples of the expansion areas of Mountain Province approved the conduct of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera’s Heirloom Rice Project (HRP) research.

The municipalities of Sadanga, Barlig, Sagada and Tadian, represented by the community’s elders, leaders, and farmers, signed the certificate of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) signifying their approval to the research for the project entitled “Conserving and increasing productivity and value of heirloom rice in the Cordillera” in specific barangays of these towns.

The study contains the planting and collection of heirloom varieties to be characterized and conserved in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute and Philippine Rice Research Institute. The research focuses generally on increasing the income and sustaining the heritage and food security in the rice terraces of the Cordillera.

During the series of discussions, the IPs expressed concern about the introduction of foreign matters in the fields and the application of chemicals, and if such will be restricted.

Technical staff member May Ann Tuba-ang assured that the conduct of the study will replicate the current existing system of communities. Thus, the study will not alter the communities’ system.

The signing of the consent is in observance of the IP Rights Act to exercise the rights of the IPs to accept or reject a certain development intervention in the community. The FPIC is the consensus of all the members of the IP community free from any external manipulation, interference and coercion and obtained after fully disclosing the intent and scope of a project.

As each community approved the conduct of the study, the project will proceed to conduct the Participatory Needs and Opportunities Assessment to  further understand the current situation of the heirloom rice in the community and come up with possible interventions.

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