IPMR in Sarangani assumes office

04 Nov 2015
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ALABEL, Sarangani (November 4, 2015) – Fredo Pandian Basino, the first Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, officially assumed office Tuesday (November 3).

In his inaugural speech, Basino said as the newly-installed IPMR, he deemed it “wise and proper” to pursue key mandates and priority actions within his term in the next three years.

He enumerated these mandates as the re-convening of the IP Tribal Council to formulate a common development agenda, the amendment of the IPMR local guidelines, and organization of a province-wide IP Local Legislators’ League.

Basino also cited the need to establish a strong partnership and collaboration with local government units and civil society organizations “to help promote and accelerate IP socio-economic development.”

Basino had served as Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator from April 1996 to February 2000 during the tenure of Sarangani first Governor Priscilla Chiongbian where he and some IP leaders espoused the organization of the Provincial Tribal Council. From 2005 to 2009, Basino was the provincial administrator.

He named valuable programs that the provincial government institutionalized for the IPs like the Sarangani Indigenous Peoples Professionals Association, Luntiang Lumad Program, Indigenous Peoples Development Program and the Sulong Tribu. These, he said, “served as an enabling mechanism to unite and empower IPs as a people.”

This shifting of focus to IP development, he said, “is considered most relevant to free the IPs in particular and the whole province in general from the clutches of untold misery brought about by prolonged poverty and economic enslavement.”

However, he said, this problem is not confined only to IPs thus he called on both IPs and non-IPs to “move with courage, serve with passion. Let us all be keepers of our brethren for a meaningful and sustainable future.”

Basino was installed as IPMR on October 28, a day after the SP unanimously approved the ordinance that IP Committee Chairperson Board Member Arman Guili authored on accepting and approving the rules for the selection of IPMR based on local guidelines crafted by the local legislative councils and technical working group in February 2011.

It was during the provincial government’s celebration of the National Indigenous Peoples Thanksgiving Day that Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon administered Basino’s oath of office following the pronouncement of Department of Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Flor Limpin on the validity of Basino’s representation to the Sanggunian.

In the certification that DILG issued, Limpin elucidated Basino’s selection being the Chosen Indigenous Cultural Community/Indigenous Peoples representative as “duly certified by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Region 12 pursuant to NCIP Administrative Order no. 001, series of 2009.”

The DILG issued Basino’s Certificate of Affirmation in January 2012, barely a year after the local guidelines was crafted in 2011.

Pursuant to Republic Act 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1991, “the Indigenous Cultural Communities/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 recognizes “the policy of the State in affording the indigenous peoples communities adequate in the local sanggunians at all levels."

The Blaan where Basino belongs is the largest IP population in Sarangani inhabiting large portions of Glan, Malapatan, Alabel, Malungon, and Maasim. The Tboli, the second largest IP group, is concentrated in the province’s western section while, the third largest group, Tagacaolo, reside in parts of Malungon.

Basino belonged to the fourth generation leader of the Diantan Clan from the “to kalul” or “people of the ridge” residing in mountainous areas of Sapu Masla, Malapatan. Diantan Clan remains until today among the traditional ruling clan-groups in Malapatan.

As Basino thanked Governor Solon and the board members for facilitating his assumption, Solon likewise gave his assurance of keeping on supporting the IPs. He said manifestations of these have been seen in several programs that were crafted for the IPs like the Sulong Tribu program. (Beverly Paoyon / SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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