El Nido IPMR delivers a short message after his selection as provincial IPMR at the VJR Hall last Friday, June 30.

The newly selected provincial Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative (IPMR) has vowed to serve all cultural communities of Palawan equally once he officially takes his seat at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

El Nido IPMR Arnel Abrina, who belongs to the Cuyonon tribe, was chosen by his colleagues as the new provincial representative to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, edging out two other aspirants: Angie Gallego of San Vicente and Renato Felizarte of Taytay.

Abrina stated that while he belongs to the Cuyonon tribe, he will be representing the entire IP community of the province.

“We will perform our duties and functions of an IPMR, number one of which is to formulate an IP agenda and afterwards, submit it to the NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous People). And then we will also look for funds for this agenda, and report to our fellow IPs,” he said.

“And, of course, not because your new IPMR is a Cuyonon, I will serve not only the Cuyonon tribe but all the nine tribes in Palawan recognized by the NCIP – Agutaynen, Batak, Cagayanen, Cuyonon, Molbog, Palaw’an, Tagbanua Calamianen, Tagbanua Central, and Tagbanua Tandulanen. So, everybody will be treated equally,” he added.

Abrina also said that he is planning to conduct regular monthly meetings with all the IP communities to consult with them.

He added that he will also be reporting monthly accomplishments to keep them updated.

“Whatever your problems are, I am telling you now that we hope to have monthly meetings, especially the IPMRs through Zoom, where you can follow up your requests so you no longer have to spend money for fare going here just to follow up the status,” he explained.

“I will also be reporting my monthly accomplishments during the meetings,” he said.

Abrina was chosen as the new IPMR during the selection process held last Friday.

However, he has to clear dosqualification cases and wait for the Certificate of Affirmation from the NCIP Regional Office before he can take the seat as the representative at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan vacated by former Board Member Purita Seguritan whose term of office expired last May 11.

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