BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Indigenous People Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in this capital town are performing well.
This was reflected in the reports of Municipal IPMR Tomas F. Longatan together with the IPMRs of Alab Oriente, Alab Proper, Balili, Bontoc Ili, Caneo, Caluttit, Dalican, Guina-ang, Gonogon, Mainit, Maligcong, Poblacion and Tocucan when they reported their accomplishments during the 2nd Quarter Meeting of IPMRs on July 4, 2018. The IPMRs of Bayyo, Talubin and Samoki were not present due to equally important matters they have to attend too.
Among the highlighted accomplishments of the IPMRs are their involvement in resolving conflicts either within the community members or to neighboring and other community; practice of customary rituals in wedding, death, thanksgiving, community traditional practices and others; attendance to barangay council meetings; and participation in community activities such as clean-up drives.
Spearheaded by the Bontoc municipal government through the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan and the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP)- Provincial Office, the quarterly meeting of the IPMRs is an avenue for the latter to report their accomplishments, discuss IP issues and concerns and strengthen camaraderie among IPMRs in the locality.
It is also noteworthy that among the municipalities in Mountain Province, it is only Bontoc that spearheads the conduct of quarterly meetings of IPMRs.
Atty. Atanacio D. Addog, the Legal Officer of NCIP- Provincial Office remarked that even if all the constituents in the province are IPs, the presence of IPMRs is a very good avenue to take in effect indigenous and customary laws and practices.
He also commended the IPMRs stating that their presence in the meeting is a manifestation of their commitment of their responsibilities in their respective communities. Likewise, Atty. Addog thanked the municipal government for appropriating funds for the conduct of the quarterly meetings of the IPMRs.
In his message, Bontoc Mayor Franklin C. Odsey acknowledged that there are problems, issues and conflicts in the community that the best solution is the practice of the customary laws or the intervention of the elders.
Relative to this, he suggested the IPMRs to seek guidance from the elders in going back to the traditional practices especially in resolving problems or conflicts which are acceptable in the community.
The mayor also assured the full support of the municipal government and the concerned national government agencies in their endeavors catering to the welfare of the IP communities.
“Let us be one. The municipal government and the NCIP are there side by side to help you work for the benefit of our Bontoc ay Kalalaychan,” Odsey assured.
In closing, Bontoc Vice Mayor Eusebio S. Kabluyen lauded the IPMRs of their accomplishments which is a manifestation that they uphold what they have vowed to do when they were appointed in the position.
He recounted that when he was young, he used to listen how elders in the “ato” gave their advice to a man who is about to get married not to feed his family from money he gets from stealing or from which he does not worked hard or labored for. Kabluyen mentioned that this is no difference when a family man feeds his family from money he gets/wins in illegal gambling.
With this, he solicited the help of IPMRs to be the voice in stopping illegal gambling activities in their respective communities emphasizing that gambling does not bring any blessing inside the home; rather may be the reason of conflict among husband and wife affecting not only their relationship but their children too.
Also present during the meeting are Sangguniang Bayan members Viola P. Okko, Esteban O. Nguddo, Julian F. Chumacog, Alexandre C. Claver, Robert B. Dacyon and Municipal Local Government Operations Officer (MLGOO) Jill F. Fa-ed.
By Alpine L. Killa, Bontoc