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IPMR sits as member of Goa’s Sangguniang Bayan

GOA, Camarines Sur --- Like the indigenous peoples in the towns of Sagñay and Buhi, tribesmen in this municipality, thru the help of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and in collaboration with the local government unit here was able to send their Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) to the Sangguniang Bayan.

Chosen as IPMR in the Sangguniang Bayan of Goa is Rafael G. Belleza, a native of Barangay Salog.

IPMRs receive compensation, benefits and other emoluments similar to those of the regular members of legislative bodies upon the enactment of an ordinance providing for the appropriation of funds for their salaries and other emoluments.

Under the Republic Act 8371, or the The Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997, LGUs are compelled to provide mandatory seats to IPMRs in the Sanggunians in all levels (barangay, municipal/city, and provincial).

Section 16 of the IPRA Law states that “the State shall ensure that the ICCs/IPs shall be given mandatory representation in policy-making bodies and other local legislative councils.”

PART of Agta Isarog’s pristine way of life is to fish for crabs, shrimps, and eels in the river near the foot of Mt. Isarog. JBN/SM

The municipality of Goa has 12 barangays that maintain settlements or ancestral domains of Agta Tabangnon and Agta Isarog with population now reaching to 27,041. Most of these barangays are located near the Mount Isarog.

IPs in this municipality have a total of 13,388 hectares of land classified as ancestral domain.

As members of local legislative councils and policymaking bodies, IPMRs are expected to carry out at all times the collective interests and aspirations of the indigenous cultural community (ICC).

In consultation with the IP leaders/elders/youth or the entire community, they are also tasked to formulate the IP agenda and source financial support for the implementation of the IP agenda.

Meanwhile, the local government unit of Goa through Mayor Marcel S. Pan and the Sangguniang Bayan, headed by Vice Mayor Alfredo P. Gonzaga III, has earmarked a three hectare lot for a housing project that will be benefitted by the IPs in this municipality.

A school will be established in the area which is located in Barangay San Pedro Aroro.

Concerns for IPs and other marginalized sectors top the priorities of the LGU under Pan’s administration.


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