Antipolo, Rizal – WawaJVCo INC. recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Dumagat/Remontado Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Antipolo after two days of negotiation. The negotiation and signing were held last July 28-29, 2020 at Kaysakat National High School in Antipolo City allowing the project to proceed with the next steps of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Process pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. Both parties came to an agreement after the IPs of Antipolo expressed their support and approval of the Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project – Tayabasan Multi-Basin System. This event was supervised by the FPIC Team and supported by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
In light of the on-going pandemic and other health protocols set forth by the government, WawaJVCo ensured that the venue is COVID-19 free. The health and safety of the participants are the proponent’s top priority that is why the covered court and the rooms underwent cleaning and disinfection prior to the start of each day’s program. A disinfection booth was set up outside the entrance of the venue and everyone’s temperature were checked prior to entering. Attendees were likewise provided with face masks, face shields, vitamins and bottles of alcohol and hand sanitizers. Separate rooms were allocated for seniors to reduce interaction with the younger participants and to properly implement social distancing. Everyone was also oriented regarding the health guidelines that will be practiced while inside the school facility.
This negotiation is the first FPIC Process to resume in the country after it was discontinued during the implementation of the nationwide Enhanced Community Quarantine to subdue the spread of the virus.
“WawaJVCo ensured that possible exposure of our IP brothers and sisters to COVID-19 is zero. Their health and safety are of utmost importance. We would also like to thank the NCIP for their support and guidance on how we can comply the health and safety protocols implemented by the government. We are looking forward to replicate this with the continuation of the FPIC Process in the Montalban Ancestral Domain.” said Melvin John Tan, WawaJVCo’s Authorized Representative.
The successful execution of MOA Negotiation and Signing only goes to show that, with the leadership and guidance of government leaders, important public services can continue without putting at risk the health and safety of its constituency.