Macas serves 2nd term as provincial IPMR

MALAYBALAY CITY ( January 31, 2019) – Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative (IPMR) to the provincial board Richard Macas of the Bukidnon Tribe is now serving his second term of office.

On Jan. 15, around 200 IP leaders composed of municipal/city IP mandatory representatives, representatives of ancestral domains, and tribal chieftains in the province met at the Kaamulan Folk Arts Theatre in Malaybalay City to conduct the IPMR selection.

But nobody challenged Macas. Instead, a consensus of IP leaders was formed. They decided to let him serve for three more years as the province’s IPMR.

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in the province facilitated the activity.

Macas attended the regular session of the provincial board in the afternoon where he is an ex-officio member.

He was first selected as IPMR of Bukidnon on February 16, 2016, becoming the province’s second IPMR after Datu Mayda Magdalino Pandian died on 2015.

Macas is the first grandson of known IP leader and former Vice Governor Datu Bagangbangan Lorenzo Dinlayan Sr.

IPMR selection is founded on the implementation of Section 16 (Right to Participate in Decision-making) of Republic Act No. 8371 known as Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997. The law ensures that the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs)/IPs shall be given mandatory representation in policy-making bodies and other local legislative councils.

In Bukidnon, all 20 towns and two cities have IPMR in the council. Barangay councils in Bukidnon also have IPMR.

In an interview, Macas said he will continue to sponsor and support legislations that help the IPs in the province.

He said he will continue to assert IP rights recognition.

“I will make sure that IPs will be included in the discussion of the proposed shift of current form of government to Federalism,” he said. “IPs must understand about Federalism being one of the hot issues in our governance now.”

He also advocates for the proper implementation of the Ancestral Domains Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP).

The province is home to the seven tribes—Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayyamnon. (Mel B. Madera)