Lumads to protest vs.
IP rep in legislative body
By ROGER M. BALANZA
While they welcome having one of their own as a member of the Davao City Council, leaders of indigenous peoples’ communities here are set to protest the manner of selecting the mandatory representative.
The council has passed an ordinance—authored by councilor Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling, chair of the committee on Cultural Communities and Muslim affairs—creating the position of an Indigenous Peoples’ representative in the local legislative body.
Mandated by the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), the IP representative—the 27th member of the council who would represent the city’s five IP tribes—would receive the same salary as the elected city councilors and the two sectoral representatives.
Tribal leaders who asked they not be identified said they would file a petition with the council to amend its provision that would have an Ata native to be the first to sit as mandatory representative. The four other tribes are the Bagobo, Clata, Guiangan and Ubo-Manobo.
Cabling’s IP measure called for creation of a Technical Working Group that would lay down process of selecting the representative in consultation with the IP communities and their leaders.
But while the ordinance specified that there is to be a selection process, the ordinance spelled out that tribal representation should be in alphabetical order with the Ata tribe having a first crack at the seat.
We are already completing our position paper to have the ordinance amended before the TWG selection process and before the mandatory representative is appointed by the city mayor, said a tribal leader from the Klata tribe.
As mandated by the ordinance, Mayor Sara Duterte is tasked to organize the TWG for the selection process to craft the guidelines patterned after guidelines developed by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).