BONTOC, Mountain Province – The National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) – Provincial Office commended the officialdom of Bontoc for their full support to the Indigenous People Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in this capital town.
Coinciding with the 3rd Quarter Meeting of the IPMRs, the NCIP-Provincial Office headed by Provincial Director, Atty. Wilson Kalangeg awarded the Certificates of Recognition to Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey and the Sanggunian Bayan headed by Vice Mayor Eusebio Kabluyen on October 12, 2018.
Kalangeg remarked that it is noteworthy that in Bontoc, the Municipal IPMR is receiving the same benefit with that of the SB members while the Barangay IPMRs are receiving the same benefit with that of the Barangay Kagawad.
Mayor Odsey expressed his happiness stating that the presence of the IPMRs in the meeting is a manifestation of their commitment of their responsibilities in their respective communities.
Vice Mayor Kabluyen seconded the pronouncement of Odsey, adding that the IPMRs have significant roles in the community regarding customary practices.
Sangguniang Bayan Members, Atty. Alsannyster Patingan also stated that despite modernization, customary practices should be respected and observed. He added that the Indigenous Peoples Right Act (IPRA) should never be set aside as the community needs the wisdom and guidance of the elders.
Similarly, SB Member Viola Okko voiced the need to preserve the customary practices as contributes in balancing and maintaining the brotherhood bond within the village and neighboring villages.
Coinciding with the celebration of the Indigenous People (IP) Month in October of every year, the Punong Barangays and IPMRs were informed and reminded of the IPRA, the four basic rights of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC), and other programs of the NCIP which was discussed by Juan Falinchao.
Engr. Carlito presented the legal basis of IPMR; the powers, functions, duties and mandates of IPMR and the compensation and benefits of IPMRs which should not be subject to availability of funds.
In the same occasion, IPMRs in Bontoc proved that they continue to uphold customary laws and practices in their respective villages.
This was reflected in the reports of Municipal IPMR Tomas F. Longatan together with the IPMRs of Alab Oriente, Balili, Bayyo, Bontoc Ili, Caneo, Caluttit, Dalican, Gonogon, Mainit, Poblacion, Talubin and Samoki when they reported their accomplishments during the 3rd Quarter Meeting of IPMRs on October 12, 2018 . The IPMRs of Alab Proper, Guina-ang, Maligcong and Tocucan 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 such as land disputes; practice of customary rituals in wedding, death, thanksgiving, community traditional practices and others; attendance to barangay council meetings and training; 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.
By Alpine L. Killa