Bohol yet to implement IP mandatory representation

AN ESKAYA ELDER from Lundag Pilar, in a gathering, raises their issues on the need for banana chips production support. If he were formally representing his tribe in policy-making bodies, it would be much easier for him to get the support they would need. The IPMR has been a law since 1997 and guidelines issued by NCIP for this was in an Admin Order No. 1, Series of 199. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol file photo)  

CORTES, Bohol, Oct. 15 (PIA) -- Since 2009 when the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) issued the guidelines on the mandatory representation of indigenous peoples in local legislative councils, none of this happened in Bohol.

This sums up the progress report given by NCIP Bohol chief Sisinio Amplayo to the radio listeners of the Kapihan sa PIA program held to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) which also mandates the participation of IPs in local policy development and planning.

NCIP Administrative Order No. 1 Series of 2009 promulgated the guidelines which set up the processes and mechanisms for the mandatory representation of IPs in local legislative councils pursuant to Section 16 of the IPRA of 1997.

Section 16 of the said law deals on the IP’s right to participate in decision-making.

It says all Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) and 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 also ensure that the ICCs/IPs shall be given mandatory representation in policy-making bodies and other local legislative councils.

To date, however, the three indigenous cultural communities in Bohol -  notably the Eskayas, the voluntarily resettled Badjaos, and the Atis - still hope their representatives can bring to the mainstream their needs as social and cultural groups especially in preserving their cultures and traditions and in keeping up with their social needs.

“We are still among those provinces with ICC and IP communities that have yet to open up our legislative bodies to the IPS,” announced Amplayo during the Kapihan.

And while the AO No. 1 talks about an IP representation proportionate to the population, a newer Administrative Order No. 3, Series of 2018 mandates that where there is an ancestral domain in any given local government unit (LGU), IP representation is mandatory.

This only means that with the Eskaya tribe claiming ancestral domains scattered in the barangays of Duero (Taytay), Pilar (Lundag), Guindulman (Biabas), and Sierra Bullones (Cantaub), these towns should have an additional member of the local Sanggunian - the IP representative.

And in cases where the IP have such ancestral domains like the voluntarily resettled Badjaos and Atis, the order says the rule on threshold applies.

The threshold is determined by the total LGU population divided by the number of Sangguniang Bayan members.

The local IP population must be equal or over the quotient to earn a slot in the local representative.

The local IP mandatory representative (IPMR) will be bringing the authority of the represented community through the Indigenous political structure and it is his duty to carry out, at all times, the collective interests and aspirations of the community.

He then shall formulate the IP agenda along with the community and can only do that by conducting regular meetings with community elders, and then he will facilitate for the provision of financial support for the implementation of the agenda.

According to the NCIP, the IPMA would be their next target even as this entails much more legwork and strategizing. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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