The NCIP-CAR conducted Capability Building for Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) on May 26, 2015 at the Gladiola Hall, BSU Compound in La Trinidad, Benguet attended by fifty-eight (58) participants composed of 16 females and 42 males.

Atty. Amador P. Batay-an, former Regional Director of the NCIP, presented and discussed the salient provision of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), related issuances, and the regional autonomy.

The only option for CAR is to become autonomous. It has basis in the Philippine Constitution itself. The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act also states in Section 14 that the State shall continue to strengthen and support the autonomous regions created under the Constitution as they may require or need.

Atty. Batay-an said that as Indigenous Peoples, we may have won partly our struggle for self-determination with the enactment of the IPRA but as Cordillerans, we must take a step further towards realizing our Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Given our history, and our ethno-geopolitical configuration and character, the best way by which we can have our vehicle responsive as utility for development is to become autonomous,”  Batay-an said.

Mr. Michael Umaming, Chief of the Technical Management Services Division, spoke of the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP). 

“The ADSDPP is a long-term plan required by the IPRA to ensure the sustainable development and management of ancestral domains of Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs).

There are forty-four (44) ADSDPPs formulated in the whole region by the ICCs/IPs through Technical Working Group led by the elders. However, twenty-one needs updating since the plans are more than six years,” Umaming said.

During the workshops, the participants discussed the roles of the IPMR on the enhancement/review, formulation and implementation of the ADSDPP.  The participants also recommended possible contents of the template in the preparation of Local Guidelines in the selection of IPMRs.

At present, there are one hundred eighty (180) IPMRs in the region. One hundred thirty three (133) sits in the barangay council; forty-four (44) sits in the municipal council and three sits with the provincial board of Abra, Benguet and Mountain Province. (Sp Lupante)