NCIP Central Office Consultation with Region 13 IPMRS Towards the Establishment of IPMR League and Discussion on 11 Building Blocks and Other Burning Issues
| April 11, 2022
A National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Central Office Consultation with Region 13 Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) Towards the Establishment of a National IPMR League and Discussion on 11 Building Blocks and Other Burning Issues was conducted on April 11, 2022 at Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Butuan City.
Section 10, Article 11 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that the state shall promote Social Justice in all phases of the national development. Section 17, Article XIV of the 1987 Philippine Constitution also provides that the state shall recognize, respect, and protect the rights of the Indigenous Cultural Communities to preserve and develop their cultures, traditions and institutions. It shall consider these rights in the formulation of national plans and policies.
To carry out these State policies, Section 16 of RA 8371 provides that the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) have the right to participate fully, if they so choose, at all levels of decision-making in matters which may affect their rights, lives and destinies through procedures determined by them as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous political structures. Consequently, the State shall ensure that the ICCs/IPs shall be given mandatory representation in policy-making bodies and other local legislative councils.
The activity was spearheaded by no less than the ever-determined Chairperson of the Commission, Sec. Allen A. Capuyan. As of the moment, the entire Caraga Region has a total of 432 IPMRs with issued Certificates of Affirmation in the four (4) provinces of Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Agusan del Norte for different levels: Province, City/Municipality, and Barangay.
Sec. Capuyan was impressed by the NCIP Caraga’s strong will to successfully facilitate and implement the Revised National and Local IPMR guidelines, paving the way for IPMRs to sit in different Local Legislative Councils and Policy Making Bodies. He added that there are still Indigenous Cultural Communities who have no representatives yet and thus should be prioritized. He also stressed that mandatory IP representation is a given under the law and should not be refused by Local Government Units due to political interests.
Municipal Tribal Chieftain of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur Datu Mancombate II Deo Manpatilan also turned over a traditional sacred blade in favor of Sec. Capuyan as a sign of gratitude for the recognition and approval of the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title 255 in favor of the Higaonon and Banwaon Indigenous Cultural Communities/ Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.
The Regional Director of NCIP Caraga Ordonio P. Rocero, Jr. was proud to report that Caraga is among, if not the first, among all regions, to successfully establish the region-wide League of Caraga Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (LCIPMR). He stressed that this was a venue to empower the IPMRs.
NCIP Director of the Office of the Empowerment and Human Rights (OEHR) Reynaldo Dingal gave the rationale of the activity. He emphasized that an IPMRs position is “sui generis”, a class of its own, in the sense that they are not elected but selected or endorsed by the community in accordance to existing guidelines. They have the responsibility to their communities and should not be pawns for self-serving political interests. Division Chief Ma. Victoria Formento further refreshed and inculcated to the participants the roles, responsibilities/duties, and powers of the IPMRs. They then led the distribution of the 2021 Annual Reports to IPMRs and Indigenous Peoples Leaders.
Chairperson of the LCIPMR and Provincial IPMR of Surigao del Sur Hawudon Jimmy Guinsod, confidently discussed the milestones of the League towards the realization of its objectives. The LCIPMR has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and now has Chapters from different provinces with their respective officers.
In an open forum, the IPMRs and IP Leaders brought up the gaps and burning issues from their different communities. These were readily given guidance and modes of resolution.
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples