Government settles Casecnan irrigation issue with IPs


The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and a group of indigenous people affected by the irrigation project have reached an agreement that may pave the way for the construction of an irrigation project to boost farm yield in Luzon.

The Bugkalot Indigenous Cultural Community/Indigenous Peoples (ICC/IPs) was affected by the government’s Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) in the Provinces of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya.

After successful negotiation among the Bugkalot Ancestral Domain Environmental Management Council (BADEMC), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), and NIA, the IPs voluntarily opened the barricades to the CMIPP in Barangay Pelaway, Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya.

This is part of the NIA and the Bugkalot IPs agreements to finally settle concerns and requests over the operation of the CMIPP situated within their ancestral domain.

Continuing coordination between the NIA and the BADEMC is ongoing to ensure resolution to all issues surrounding the Bugkalots and CMIPP.

“The Bugkalot extends a heartfelt thank you to our dear President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr…who…gave a directive to the NIA, PSALM and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples [NCIP] to fix the mess here in our area of Casecnan,” BADEMC Chairman Daniel Pasigian said.

“We are very grateful…[for] the government programs…that have given us renewed hope for our long-held expectations and clarity,” he added.

Led by NIA Acting Administrator Eddie Guillen, the agency ensures that the protection of dam integrity for public safety and unhampered delivery of irrigation service, ensure the welfare of indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples is also a priority.