The Baguio City Council, on February 9, 2023, expressed concurrence with the selection of Maximo Hilario Edwin Jr. as the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of the City of Baguio.
Edwin is the concurrent president of the Onjon ni Ivadoy. As the newly installed IPMR, he will now chair the city council’s Committee on Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Cultural Communities which was temporarily chaired by Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan which was created in 2022.
Prior to the city council’s concurrence, Atty. Atanacio Addog, regional director of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera Administrative Region, issued on February 2, 2023 a certificate affirming the selection of Edwin as IP representative to the Baguio City Council pursuant to Section 16 of Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997.
Edwin also took his oath of office before Mayor Benjamin Magalong on February 3, 2023.
“The Indigenous Peoples of Baguio City can now see light at the end of the tunnel,” newly appointed IPMR Maximo Edwin Jr. said during his confirmation as an additional member of the Baguio City Council.
Taking on the role of being the “voice” of the IPs in the city government, Edwin expressed hope that igorots in the Summer Capital of the Philippines now have a bigger chance of protecting their rights over their ancestral lands.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda reminded Edwin to “take a look at all other indigenous groups in the City of Baguio.”
“While you were selected primarily by the Ibalois, you are supposed to be a representative of all the Indigenous Peoples in the City of Baguio,” Tabanda stated.
In response, Edwin said one of his first tasks as IPMR is to convene all IP groups in the city to present his platforms and to solicit their “suggestions” on the resolution of issues affecting them. -Jordan G. Habbiling