Diverting the Mainstream: An Attempt to Reconcile Local Administration with IP's Right to Self-Governance
The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) or Republic Act No. 8371 recognizes the right to self-governance and self-determination of the indigenous peoples. In order to pursue their economic, social, and cultural development, the IPRA provides for the formation of a separate tribal barangay in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Code (LGC).
The Article, however, argues that the LGC is inadequate in providing for guidelines in two respects: first, the creation of a tribal barangay; and second, the structures and fiscal policies that should govern the tribal barangays.
In order to address these issues, focus group discussions and interviews were conducted by the author in select indigenous people communities in Panay. As to the first issue, It suggests that a conversion of regular barangays into tribal barangays is less problematic that an outright creation of new ones. As to the matter of the internal administration of the barangay, the study yields the results that the participants prefer the tribal chieftain be the head of the barangay.
It then recommends the following: that rules be promulgated to facilitate the conversion of regular to tribal barangays; that the distribution of the Internal Revenue Allotment be based on the level of the development of the barangay instead of its population; and that the indigenous peoples be brought together in a tribal together regardless of their locations within the municipality. These measures would ensure the smooth formation of a tribal barangay which will benefit the indigenous peoples.