Board questions selection process of IP reps-A A +A
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
MEMBERS of the Benguet Provincial Board questioned the integrity of the process in selecting an Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) representative in policy – making bodies.
Board members asked the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on the policies and guidelines of the selection process during the board’s regular session last August 19. They also asked if the selected IP representatives were not backed by political personalities.
NCIP – Benguet Legal Officer Severino Lumiqued said the selection process should be a non – partisan activity and politicians must avoid dipping their fingers in the process. He added the selected IP representatives were chosen by the IP community.
He revealed Tublay IP representative is Lauro Aniseto and Kabayan IP representative is James Aroco while Tuba has Lilia Bugtong. He said the Itogon local government unit has an IP representative selected already but is not yet seating in at the legislative body.
Lumiqued stated Tuba former councilor Blas Dalus was selected as the Benguet IP representative for the Provincial Board. He was chosen this month but is not yet seated due of some documentary requirements, which need to be accomplished first.
NCIP– Baguio witnessed the selection of Dalus.
"I presume that all ethno – groups were present during the selection process of Dalus," said Lumiqued.
Based on the guidelines, all ethno–groups like Ibaloi, Kankana – ey and Karao in Benguet must be present during the selection process for fair representation.
Prior to Dalus’ selection as the IP representative, he was working as an employee under the office of Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan. He still works there until now.
The NCIP legal officer said the representative can work in two offices if those he represents allow it. It depends on the guidelines of the IPs during their selection process. However, he said based on his personal views, Dalus must give up one position.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 22, 2013.