Asserting their rights as Filipinos, the indigenous people or the lumads want to take part in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of their barangays. Local Government Units get IRA share being distributed to the barangays. IRA is the internal revenues collected by the national government. The Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the city’s various barangays justified that the IP is the sector of society who needs assistance from government as most of them are poor. As it is now, the lumads seem taken for granted as shown in the imbalance of revenue sharing, the IPMR argued. Barangays are given their IRA share by the LGU since they are also generating revenues.
This IRA share which each barangay is being used for the barangay’s concerns and programs aimed at uplifting the lives of the people in the barangays. The IP sector is among the people in the barangays. They should not be isolated most especially from the distribution of the barangay’s revenues which come in the form of programs on basic needs such as livelihood, health, education, food security and housing. The barangay’s IRA should benefit all the barangay folk including the IPs. However, this seems not achieved given the concern for IRA share for the IPs raised during the recently concluded IPMR Summit here in the city. At the summit they are asserting their right to IRA share.
The IPMRs will not raise such concern if their people (IPs) have been treated justly. The role of the LGU to look into how barangay officials manage their funds in such a way that all constituents are benefited is vital. The problem did not surface if the IPs received what they deserve. The city council and other directly concerned government agencies should revisit the process on how the IRA share is being utilized before they could take steps on how to address the appeal of the IPMRs.