NCIP Provincial Director Atty. Jansen Jontilla, Ipilan Nickel Corporation resident mine manager Alex Arabis and tribal leaders of IP communities from the six impact barangays sign the supplemental Memorandum of Agreement for the Free Prior and Informed Consent of the mining firm and additional financial aid to the communities.

Indigenous cultural communities in the impact barangays surrounding Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) have commenced planning on how to utilize the royalty shares they will receive from the mining firm.

This follows the final discussions and validations conducted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), leading to the signing of a supplemental agreement to the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Ipilan Nickel on June 1.

The company clarified that, in addition to the 1% royalty shares from its gross mineral sales, which the ICCs are entitled to, the company has allocated an additional one-time contribution of P10 million under the supplemental MOA.

It also stated that the voluntary contribution, effective until the renewal of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in 2025, may be used to fund the construction of a common tribal hall, delineation of the IP group’s Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT), and other identified health, education, livelihood, and infrastructure projects.

“The execution of the Supplemental MOA marks a significant milestone in fostering a positive and collaborative relationship between the company and the Indigenous communities. It also demonstrates INC’s commitment to prioritizing community development alongside its responsible mining practices,” INC said in a statement.

The IP leaders from the six barangays—Barong-barong, Ipilan, Calasaguen, Aribungos, Maasin, and Mambalot (BICAMM) – expressed confidence in and support for the identified projects, which were determined through a consultation facilitated by the NCIP, along with representatives from the Provincial Legal Office and INC officials, led by resident mine manager Alex Arabis.

INC also mentioned that the broad representation during the consultation strengthens the legitimacy of the FPIC process and ensures effective oversight to uphold the agreement.

Furthermore, the NCIP facilitated the discussion for the preparation of a Community Royalty Development Plan (CRDP) to ensure the proper management of the royalty shares and led the oath-taking ceremony for the newly elected officers of the Indigenous Peoples Development Office-BICAMM.