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BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Indigenous People Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in the 16 barangays of this capital town convened on July 30, 2021, at the Sangguniang Bayan Hall of the Bontoc Municipal Capitol.
During the meeting, the proposed ordinance sponsored by Sangguniang Bayan member Esteban Nguddo and co-sponsored by IPMR George Luis Fakat entitled “Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative to the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Bontoc, Mountain Province” was discussed.
Under the Selection of the Municipal IPMR, the 16 barangays shall be divided into four clusters namely: Central Barangays comprising of Bontoc Ili, Poblacion, Caluttit and Samoki; ALBAGO Barangays comprising of Alab Oriente, Alab Proper, Balili, and Gonogon; Upland Barangays comprising of Mainit, Maligcong, Dalican, and Guina-ang; and Riverside Barangays comprising of Tocucan, Caneo, Talubin, and Bayyo. The elected municipal IPMR shall serve for three years commencing from the time of the actual assumption to office. However, he/she is not entitled to a second term as the selection thereof was set on a rotational basis per cluster.
The proposed ordinance includes qualifications/disqualifications, manner of selection and assumption of office, and succession of the municipal IPMR. The selected IPMR must be a bonafide member of the Indigenous People’s community he/she seeks to represent; able to read and write; physically, mentally, and morally fit; a natural-born Filipino citizen; and should be at least 18 years old on the date of assumption.
Duties of the Municipal IPMR include formulating IP agenda with the community, facilitating provisions for the implementation of the IP agenda, sponsoring ordinances and resolutions, closely coordinating with the NCIP for the implementation of projects and programs, rehabilitating the traditional meeting place of elders or “tomuktokchuwan nan amam-a,” and preserving the “Ato” as to its original structure.
With the abovementioned duties, the Municipal IPMR must be conversant with the culture of the community he/ she represents; knowledgeable and capable in settling conflicts in accordance to customary law; a resident of the community for at least 10 years continuously without interruption for the period immediately preceding the time of selection, without prejudice to the community providing the requirement of domicile for its local guidelines; a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city or province where he or she intends to hold office; at least physically fit to attend the Sangguniang Bayan sessions, attend to community affairs requiring elder’s services, experience, knowhow and the specifics of performing basic cultural ritual; and must remain as Barangay IPMR during his/ her term of office as Municipal IPMR.
While most parts of the proposed ordinance were carried, the barangay IPMRs suggested that the minimum age requirement for the municipal IPMR must be over 50 years old and the quorum shall be more than half of the total number of barangay IPMRs.
With the rotational cluster in the selection of Municipal IPMR, it was agreed upon that those to be selected shall come from the cluster zone. Before the selection, the candidates will convene to determine the final aspirants. In case there will be a tie; the options agreed were tossing the coin and/or term sharing.
The proposed ordinance with the amendments agreed upon during the meeting of the IPMRs will be presented and be discussed in the next session of the Sangguniang Bayan. By Christy Che-es and Alpine L. Killa