Indigenous Peoples groups in the province gathered for their annual convention to craft new guidelines and rules in selecting the next Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

The convention and drafting of new guidelines were held in time, ahead of current IPMR Board Member Purita J. Seguritan, whose term will expire on February 2023.

National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Provincial Officer Atty. Jansen Jontilla said the crafting of the new guidelines is based on the NCIP Administrative Order no. 1 series of 2021.

He said the different tribal groups in Palawan agreed upon themselves that they will have a rotation of who will take the seat of IPMR at the provincial board. Each tribal community will also set guidelines upon themselves on who they will chose as the representative in the province’s legislative chamber.

“Dito ay inaayos yung guidelines para sa pagpapaupo ng susunod na provincial IPMR. Nagkaroon sila ng agreement sa rotation kung sino ang susunod na tribo na uupo,” Jontilla said.

“May agreement na sila, ngayon kasi, si Board Member (Purita) Seguritan ay isang Pala’wan, so ang susunod ay mula sa Cuyunon tribe,” he added.

During the discussion of the guidelines, the IP groups also agreed upon themselves to craft guidelines for every group that will govern their selection process.

“So yung Cuyunon, gagawa sila ng sariling gabay kung paano pipiliin ang provincial IPMR, and sila na rin mismo ang pipili kung sino sa kanila ang uupo bilang IPMR at pagdating ng panahon ng Cagayanen, sila rin ang magde-decide,” Jontilla explained.

He added that that the guidelines to be implemented must be in adherence to the national guidelines set by NCIP.

“Pwede rin sila magdagdag, pero dapat naaayon doon sa national guidelines. And at the municipal and barangay level, they can also draft their own guidelines, provided that it is also in accordance of course, with national guidelines,” he said.

Single three-year term
Jontilla Jontilla also explained that based on the discussion, an IPMR can only serve one term for a period of three years.

“The term of office can be extended via hold over capacity for a period of three months, because of the pandemic.

But once the pandemic is lifted, the hold over is only for one month or until such time that a new IPMR has been elected or has been issued a Certificate of Accreditation.

Moreover, the community can also issue a statement of support for the extension and the need for the incumbent IPMR to submit performance and accomplishment reports.

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