Issue of May 12, 2019
     
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Benguet town regulates entry of researches to protect IPs
by Ofelia C. Empian

To protect its rich culture and natural resources, the town of Kabayan, Benguet has passed an ordinance regulating the conduct of researches in the municipality.

The ordinance, authored by councilors Olivia Salbino and Orlan Kelcho, will cover all types of researches or documentations for any purpose within the jurisdiction of Kabayan.

“Now and then the unique culture and tradition and rich natural resources of the municipality have been attracting local and foreign researchers of all types. The municipality shall guarantee the due exercise by the concerned indigenous cultural communities /indigenous peoples of their right to allow or reject, through the free prior and informed consent, research and documentation of their indigenous knowledge systems and practices and customary laws and their derivatives,” the ordinance stated.

It stated that the municipality, being an ICCs/IPs area, needs to employ National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Administrative Order 01, s. of 2012, which provides guidelines for researches and documentations to all researchers.

Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, which provides for the promotion and protection of IPs, also backs the ordinance. 

The municipal government must ensure that the town and the community shall benefit from the use of the research output; and protect its natural resources, properties, products and endangered species of flora and fauna and other wildlife.

Prior to conducting their study, researchers must file a letter of intent or research proposal with the office of the mayor containing the following information: identity of the researcher, purpose of the research; methodologies and materials to be used in data gathering; scope and limitation of the study; source of fund; and period of research and chronology of activities.

Also included in the letter of intent is the manifestation agreeing to shoulder the administrative costs incidental to the research activities, permits or certifications or clearances from the national/regional/provincial agencies with direct supervision on the subject of research such as NCIP, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other agencies, barangay clearance from the barangay where they reside, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, and two pieces of latest 2 x 2 ID pictures.

The office of the mayor shall review the proposal then forward the copy to the sangguniang bayan for its appropriate action.

The ordinance includes research fees to be collected from any person or groups with approved researches: P1,500 for commercial purposes, P1,000 for professional school researches, P800 for graduate school researches, and P500 for academic researches by students from other cities/municipalities.

However, there will be researches that will be exempted from paying the fees, such as academic researches by students who are residents of Kabayan as a requirement to complete their subject course or basic education and other researches that may be determined by the municipal council.

Researchers must also record their entry in the municipality through a logbook.

Researchers must also pay a courtesy call at the office of the mayor with their written proposal; the SB may require the presence of the researchers during its session; researchers must consult not only the municipal LGU but also the concerned barangay or constituents where the research will be conducted.

They must abide by the IPRA and shall submit a copy of the final result of their research or documentation to the municipal government.

“Results of completed researches affecting the ICCs/IPs shall be presented before the sangguniang bayan, the sanguniang barangay, or the council of elders/leaders for verification and certificate of validation before its publication,” the ordinance stated.

“Researchers shall observe the rules and regulations imposed by the IPs within the ancestral domain concerning environmental protection and others,” it stated.

Those found violating the ordinance shall be penalized with fines ranging from P1,500 to P2,500.

The ordinance was unanimously approved by the SB and was forwarded to the sanguniang panlalawigan for its review.

 

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