Issue of April 15, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Confusion over alleged NCIP
by Jane B. Cadalig

It’s business as usual at the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera, which is currently dazed by reports that a new director will head the agency.

NCIP-Cordillera Information Officer Rocky Ngalob said personnel of the agency will continue performing their mandate for the benefit of the indigenous peoples, amidst the confusion created by reports on the supposed appointment of a new director to head the agency.

Reports that Daisy Lee of the Cordillera Basic Congress, one of the groups pushing for federalism in the region, has been appointed by Malacanang as the new director of NCIP-Cordillera and came as a surprise to the office, which is yet to receive a notice that would serve as a formal announcement of the change in the regional agency’s leadership.

Lee’s appointment was reportedly announced in a public gathering, particularly during the recent staging of the Lang-ay Festival in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who also chairs the Regional Development Council, in which the NCIP regional director is a member heading the Committee on Indigenous Peoples Concerns, said he does not have any knowledge on the appointment of a new NCIP director.

While he said he is not against the appointment of qualified people as head of regional line agencies, consultation with stakeholders is crucial.

“We ask the national government to consult the people affected when there are appointments,” he said.

It was not immediately known if NCIP-Cordillera Director,  Atty. Roland P. Calde is still serving in his capacity as head of the office pending the supposed oath taking and assumption of Lee.

Calde, a former Attorney IV of NCIP-Region 3, was appointed as the acting director of the NCIP-Cordillera effective Sept. 1, 2015.

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