November 26, 2022

Councilor Isabelo Cosalan Jr. has proposed for the appointment of an indigenous peoples affairs focal person to be assigned at the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO).
In a resolution passed on Dec. 14, 2020, the council requested the CPDO and the City Government Performance and Governance Audit Team (CGPGAT) to consider the proposal.
Cosalan said there is a need to designate a focal person who will check if projects or development endeavors over recognized ancestral lands are aligned with the development plans of the city and that indigenous social and cultural plans, programs, and projects are within the sphere of development policies.
Cosalan said the focal person, if and when necessary, shall not only check and validate but also give recommendations with regard to such development activities.
“Taking due cognizance of indigenous peoples’ issues and concerns is also an environmental and social strategy as tribal culture and traditions are anchored on the sustainable utilization of resources and peaceful co-existence as a community,” Cosalan wrote in the resolution.
The resolution is anchored on the 15th goal of the city government of Baguio, which is the resolution of IP land issues or other land issues in the city including the protection and preservation of the Ibaloys and their heritage.
The resolution also cited the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) which states, “For the adoption of a policy that ancestral lands shall be respected and accorded the same rights and responsibilities appurtenant to private titles.”
The CLUP further underscores that all registered owners of legitimate ancestral domain/land titles shall formulate their sustainable development protection and management plans pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) and other pertinent laws. Such plans shall be adopted to form part of the CLUP.
The IPRA mandates the State to protect indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples and their ancestral domains, and ensure their economic, social, and cultural well being, among others, and to institute and establish the necessary mechanisms to enforce and guarantee the realization of these rights to their ancestral domains.
In 2019, the council passed Resolution 212 supporting the move of Mayor Benjamin Magalong in constituting the CGPGAT which was tasked to conduct a performance evaluation of all departments in the organizational structure of the city government of Baguio. The evaluation should focus on three sectors, namely plans, programs, and projects; budget and personnel; and actual implementation, output, and impact to stakeholders as a tool for the city government in enhancing the delivery of public service. – Jordan G. Habbiling