TRIBAL REPRESENTATIVES. Agusan del Norte Gov. Maria Angelica Rosedell Amante (standing, 4th from left) administers the oath-taking of seven new Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) on Monday (April 3, 2023). One was appointed Municipal IPMR of Nasipit town while six will represent villages in Santiago town. (Courtesy of NCIP-13)

BUTUAN CITY — The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in the Caraga Region (NCIP-13) welcomed the appointment of seven Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in Agusan del Norte province.

In a statement Tuesday, NCIP-13 said that of the seven new tribal representatives, one was appointed as the IPMR of Nasipit town while the six others will serve as IPMRs of different barangays in the town of Santiago.

“The seven new IPMRs have already taken their oath before Agusan del Norte Gov. Maria Angelica Rosedell Amante on Monday,” the NCIP-13 said.

Among the newly-appointed is Datu Salangkuan Revise Mandahinog from the Higaonon tribe, the IPMR of Nasipit town.

The other appointed IP leaders who will serve as IPMRs in Santiago town are Malaas Avon Medina, a Mamanwa who will serve as the IPMR of Barangay E. Morgado; Malaas Ovil Buyo, a Mamanwa for Barangay Jagupit; Mirasol Cebrian, a Mamanwa for Barangay La Paz; Maribel Olbo, Mamanwa, for Barangay Poblacion I; Malaas Abloy Bacalan, Mamanwa, for Barangay San Isidro; and Manigaon Ronnie Judyawon, a Manobo for Barangay Pangaylan.

NCIP-13 Director Ordonio Rocero Jr. said the Certificate of Affirmation (COA) issued by the NCIP was also handed over to the new IPMRs during the oath-taking ceremony.

“The COA is a document certifying that an IPMR has undergone the selection process and has been validated,” Rocero said.

The appointment of IPMR to the local legislative bodies from barangay up to the provincial levels is stipulated under Section 16 of the Republic Act 8371, or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA).

Under the IPRA law, the Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples 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."
Dakula Randy Catarman, Provincial IPMR of Agusan del Norte, urged the new council representatives to "work together for the betterment of the lives of the present and future generations of our tribes." (PNA)