(File photo)

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has sought the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to facilitate the filling up of indigenous peoples mandatory representative (IPMR) seats in various local government units in Palawan.

Provincial IPMR Joel Lumis Jr. said that there are more than five municipalities in the province without incumbent IP representatives for different reasons.

He said that some are waiting for the approval of the certificate of affirmation (COA) from the NCIP.

“May mga munisipyo talaga na wala pang IPMR na nakaupo, katulad sa San Vicente, Kalayaan, Cuyo at ‘yong iba naman kakatapos lang ng term o hinihintay pa ang COA nila,” he said.

Engr. Caridad Katherine Gullunan, NCIP technical management services division chief, said Wednesday that they have already endorsed the problem to DILG for proper action.

She said that some of the local government units (LGUs) do not recognize the IPMR which is important to address issues among IPs as mandated by law.

“We have already endorsed this to the DILG para mabigyan ng action kasi kahit nga walang DILG ay dapat may nakaupo kasi nasa batas ito eh. Dapat hindi nababakante ang position nila kasi sila ang kumakatawan sa mga kapatid na katutubo,” she said.

DILG Palawan provincial director Rey Maranan told Palawan News on Friday that they are willing to help, particularly in governance issues, provided that any IP representative will discuss or talk to them.

He said IPMRs in municipalities and barangays are important to represent the IP community and an essential instrument to speak for their constituent.

“Anytime, willing kami to help para maayos ‘yan lalo na governance issue ‘yan. Isa pa, hindi nga ‘yan dapat nababakante maliban nalang kung ‘yong dapat umupo ay hinihintay pa ang kanyang gabay o ‘yong COA pero kung hindi talaga sila nire-recognize ng LGU ay iba na ‘yon, dapat may nakaupo. Lumapit lang sila sa amin, we are very much willing to help,” he said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.