April 24, 2011 in Cordillera
By ALMA B. SINUMLAG
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The Provincial Consultative Body (PCB) of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Benguet in a resolution requests the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s (SP) assistance in the formulation of guidelines for the mandatory representation of Indigenous Peoples (IP) in legislative bodies.
The resolution states that in section 16 of the Republic Act 8371 otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), “IPs/Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) have the right to participate fully, if they choose, at all levels of decision making in matters which may affect their rights, lives, destinies through procedures determined by them as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous political structures and consequently, the State shall ensure that the ICCs/IPs shall be given mandatory representation in policy-making bodies and other legislative bodies”.
In order to operationalize the said provision, the PCB and the Chairpersons of the Ancestral Domain – Indigenous Peoples Organizations, different ancestral domains in Benguet sat in a meeting and considered the formulation of local guidelines for the said mandatory representation of IPs in legislative bodies.
According to the resolution, during the meeting of the PCB and the AD-IPO last month, it was a consensus decision that they will ask the assistance of the SP in creating the selection processes and mechnisms for the IPs/ICCs to provide for the mandatory representation.
Moreover, it was also decided that the chairman of the head the committee on IP will head the drafting team. Representatives from PCB, AD – IPOs and the NCIP provincial office will also be part of the drafting team. # nordis.net