City, IP groups sign accord on center operation

BAGUIO CITY September 20 - The local government and the Baguio Indigenous Peoples Committee (BIPC) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the sustained management and operation of the established IP Center located at the third floor of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) building within Burnham Park.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan represented the local government while the BIPC which is composed of IP organizations in the city was represented by Jacqueline K. Cariño, Kathleen T. Okubo and Philip Canuto.

Under the agreement, the IP Center shall be used by various IP organizations in the city for lawful purposes specifically to provide a place where IP groups can gather to hold various proper and lawful activities, to promote IP culture and values for transmission to the youth, such as through the setting up of a museum of IP culture, among others; to foster unity among the different IPs in the city; to showcase the initiatives and activities of different organizations in the city for the rights, welfare and benefit of the IPs.

The BIPC shall maintain the IP Center; submit its constitution and by-laws and its officials and members to the local government; submit its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration to the city; and that the IP Center and its immediate surroundings shall not be the subject of human habitation or settlement by any individual or group and that it is also prohibited to neither transfer nor delegate its authority as stated to any person or third party nor shall the management and improvement of the IP center be the subject of a sub-lease and drinking of liquor or intoxicating drinks, beverage or any drink containing alcoholic drink inside the park facility and perimeter is prohibited except on special occasions of events where the same is approved by the local government.

Further, the agreement stipulated that there shall be no alterations or improvements introduced on the IP Center without the required consultations with the local government through the CEPMO; any allowed improvement that may be introduced in the premises by the BIPC shall become the exclusive property of the local government and there shall be leasing or sub-leasing of any part of the building or center to private individuals or entities to generate funds and for other purposes and that there shall be no subversive activities that will be done inside the facility.

The term of the agreement shall be for three years commencing upon the confirmation of the same by the local legislative body and subject to the conditions that the parties shall renegotiate before the term expires unless sooner revoked or terminated for cause by the city.

Part of the funds used to build the CEPMO building in the amount of P3 million was sourced out from former Gabriela Women's Party-list Luzviminda Ilagan while the local government augmented the said funding for the completion of the structure which is now serving its purpose.

Cariño expressed the gratitude of the IP groups to the local government for the eventual realization of the put up of the IP Center and assured local officials that the facility will be used to help in preserving and promoting the rich culture and traditions of IPs living in the city for the benefit of the present and future generations of Ips.

By Dexter A. See

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