The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has continued to recognize Board Member Purita Seguritan as the indigenous people’s mandatory representative (IPMR) despite her term of office ending last May 11.

This was after Board Member Ryan Maminta moved for her to be recognized in a holdover capacity while the next indigenous people’s community is still in the process of selecting the new IPMR.

Seguritan’s term of office ended on February 11, 2023, but was extended in holdover capacity for three months.

“Technically, the IPMR post is considered vacant since May 11. However, we are pursuing an idea na we continue recognizing her,” Maminta said.

“And I would like to move that we continue to recognize her in her current capacity until such time that the Cuyunon tribe is able to select their representative to sit as the new IPMR, to avoid a vacuum in the representation of the indigenous cultural communities, and to continue to push through with the provisions of Republic Act 8371 (Indigenous People’s Rights Act),” he added.

He further explained that while there is a fixed term of three months for holdover capacity, there is also a provision which says that “until such time that the next IPMR shall be selected and qualified, the incumbent IPMR may be granted another extension or another holdover capacity.”

“But while doing that, through our resolution, we are also asking her to secure a letter from the NCIP (National Commission for the Indigenous People) that gives her authority to be the IPMR while the selection is still on going,” Maminta explained.

The next IPMR will be coming from the Cuyunon tribe, based on the selection process agreed upon by the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC) in the province during their convention in December last year.

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.

Maminta said there are three individuals from the group who has manifested interest to be their representative as the next IPMR.

Once the next IP community submits the name of their selected IPMR, they will submit it to the NCIP for validation after, the NCIP will issue a certificate of affirmation (CoA).

The CoA will then be submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan before the new IPMR can take his post as the new ex-officio member.

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