MANILA -- Indigenous peoples' mandatory representatives (IPMRs) in barangays who die during their term of office will be entitled to death and burial benefits under a new executive order (EO) signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
EO No. 139, signed by Duterte on June 18, recognizes the “invaluable contribution” of IPMRs in the barangays through among others, the grant of benefits enjoyed by similarly situated officials, pursuant to the concerted and overall efforts of the government to provide assistance to local officials.
Under the EO, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in coordination with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), is directed to determine the amount needed to cover the payment of the death and burial benefits of IPMRs in barangays who die during their term of office and include the same in its annual budget proposal, subject to the regular budgeting process.
EO 139 amends EO No. 115, which authorizes the DILG to determine the amount and administer the payment of death benefits of barangay officials who die during their term of office, chargeable against the fund appropriated for the purpose in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
“EO No. 115 is hereby amended accordingly. All other provisions of EO No. 115 not modified by the foregoing shall remain in full force and effect,” EO 139 read.
Republic Act No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 provides that the Indigenous Cultural Communities or Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) have the right to participate fully, if they so choose, at all levels of decision-making in matters which may affect their rights, lives, and destinies through procedures determined by them as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous political structures.
The law also provides that the State shall ensure that ICCs/IPs shall be given mandatory representation in all policy-making bodies and other local legislative councils.
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8371 and relevant issuances of the NCIP prescribe that the representatives of ICCs/IPs in all policy-making bodies and local legislative councils shall have the same privileges as the regular members of the legislative bodies and/or policy-making bodies. (PNA)