Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) was recently established by the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) with the goal to systemically and effectively address complaints and concerns regarding the project.
The Right of Way (ROW) Upland, headed by Jesus Ezer Borci, Supervising IDO, conducted meeting with the directly affected barangays for the creation of GRM as requirement of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and the Korean Exim Bank, the project funding institution.
JRMP II initiated the GRM anchored on five principles – proportionality, cultural appropriateness, accessibility, transparency and accountability, and appropriate protection. Moreover, the said mechanism is guided by Republic Act 8371 (IPRA Law) since the project affects IP communities and their ancestral domains.
Since the project covers both IP and non-IP communities, there are different approaches in answering their concerns. Grievances from an IP member/s shall pass through the community level composed of the Council of Elders assisted by the JRMP II focal person to ensure proper documentation, monitoring, and communication of updates and feedbacks. The Council of Elders shall address the grievance based on their traditional and cultural practices. If not resolved, it shall be forwarded to the GRM secretariat which shall ensure attention by the appropriate department or agency. In the event that the complainant is still not satisfied with the presented solution, it shall be forwarded to a higher office or agency like the National Commision on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for circumstances involving IPs, or the court.
The same process is followed for grievances of non-IP members but without the interference of the Council of Elders and NCIP. Instead, an Area Implementing Team (AIT) shall handle the concerns.
In the event that the complainant is not confident to raise his concerns to the Council of Elders or AIT , he can go directly to the secretariat or the concerned agency. Other ways of raising complaints are through standard mail, electronic mail and social media sites of JRMP II.
All grievances shall be addressed within 15 days upon receipt. If not, a written explanation citing reasons shall be provided to the complainant.
Types of Grievances
Grievances which may arise during project implementation were classified as following:
•Damage to houses due to blasting, vibration and heavy vehicle movements;
•Damage to access roads, culverts and canals;
•Payment of damages concerns (delayed or no-payment issues, new owner/claimants);
•Issues on new structures arising at the site;
•Obstructions to access roads;
•Lack of clarity concerning boundary marks on acquired land and disputes related to ownership rights;
•Siltation of rice lands, damage to agricultural crops, trees and fruit bearing trees which result to loss of income;
•Illegal dumping of solid wastes and fuel/oil spillage;
•Illegal transportation of construction materials, logs, cut-trees, etc.;
•Decrease in water level and water pollution in private and public wells due to blasting;
•Water logging and flooding brought about by the project;
•Contamination of potable water source;
•Threat to statues and monuments;
•Abuse to women, children and persons with disability (PWD);
•Employment/labor related concerns (non- compliance of management policy and guidelines, issues on salaries and benefits);
•Disputes/complaints/issues on the implementation of commitments and other entitlements;
•Threat to security;
•Non-inclusion to the list of beneficiaries or organizations;
•Concerns on water delivery, distribution/delivery of basic services, etc;
•Dust, noise and air pollution; and
Aside from airing concerns through the Council of Elders or GRM focal persons, complainants can also contact the GRM Secretariat or JRMP II through:
(Ramon C. Salvilla ,CDA II and Flordalie L. Pagente ,CAA II)