Rise for Indigenous Peoples Education Network, Inc. (RIPENET) holds its Annual Board Meeting on January 5, 2018 at the Philippine Normal University – North Luzon Multi-Purpose Hall. The said meeting is convened at 8:00 in the morning upon the arrival of eight (8) delegates who comes from the various government agencies and universities of Living Traditions in the Philippines. Consequently, a brief Welcome Program formally started the meeting with a doxology and the singing of the National Anthem led by the PNU-North Luzon Kalibnusan Chorale.

Dr. Elena A. Navas, PNU-North Luzon Executive Director and Chairman of the Board, presides the meeting, and acknowledges the presence of the following members of the board: Dr. Elena S. Toquero, of the National Commission on Culture and Arts and Isabela State University; Dr. Eleanor F. Castro, of Central Philippines State University, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental; Madam Barbara Garcia of the national Commission on Indigenous Peoples, province of Isabela; Dr. Ivor I. Ontoy of the Department of Education, Lantapan, Bukidnon; Prof. Amme Rose L. Blonto of the University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; Madam Simplicia Hagada of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples of the province of Quirino; and Dr. Ma. Merlina Josue of the Department of Education, Naguilian, Isabela, Philippines.

Several members of the board are not present during the annual meeting. They are as follows: Dr. Jordan Lachler, Vice-Chair of the board from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Dr. Maria Lourdes DP. Garcia of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa, Manila; and Madam Eva Nina Lopez of the Western Philippines University, Aborlan, Palawan, Philippines.

In this RIPENET annual board meeting, the board consider the following agenda: RIPENET, Journey, Membership Expansion, International Research Conference on Teacher and IP Education, Future Plans and Activities, Election, and other matters. During the meeting, the members raise various issues and offered resolution to these matters.  These include creation of Face book account, choice/s of venue of International Conferences. Dr. Ontoy notes bigger travel expenses of those who come from Visayas or Mindanao if the international conferences are held in Luzon area. The board decides that they will resolve this matter when RIPENET registration and membership is set. Dr. Castro adds that same concern will be included in future plans and programs. Dr. Toquero, in between, reminded that invitations to International Conferences should bear Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Education (DepEd) endorsement.

Dr. Navas raises concerns on membership expansion and contribution and how to expand membership not just in the country but also abroad. In response to this issue, Dr. Toquero suggests sponsoring of seminars/conferences may be of help. Dr. Castro added that representing cluster area is a good start to expand membership. She points out the enrichment of by-laws; proposes that membership fees for lifetime and annual members must be specified; and sponsoring of seminars may incorporate the creation of a refereed journal.

Dr. Navas wants the board to determine the amount for membership and the contribution for seminars. She emphasizes that even in small amounts, members can contribute to “Seed Money” of the organization. Members of the board recommends and finally approves that Individual Lifetime Membership to RIPENet will be Php500.00. and Php2000.00 for Institutional Membership.

Prof. Amme Rose clarifies that it is not compulsory for the institution of each member of the Board to join for the institutional membership.  She agrees that membership be renewed every two years. Dr. Navas highly recommends membership of institutions where the members of the Board are coming from, but not compulsory. In the case of members of the Board who are representing their institutions, Dr. Toquero mentions the need for formal invitation or communication to the School Head for the processing of Institutional membership. Dr. Garcia clears up that many of the members are representing bigger institutions such as NCIP, DepEd and NCCA. Dr. Garcia said that she is sitting before the meeting as an institutional representative of NCIP. In the Case of DepEd, Dr.Ontoy suggests that membership may begin as a district-wide, so teachers can register to their respective districts. Then the District will be registered as an Institution. Dr. Navas mentions that membership may be offered to other faculty members of the institution of each Board member and she points out the importance to recruit others.

Prof. Amme Rose asks the group what the contribution, benefits and participations or involvement of member- institutions. In reply, Dr. Navas explains that these include identifying future plans and actions; and to look into what would be the contributions, benefits and participations of individual members.  Dr. Toquero also proposes that participants from member-institutions be discounted from conference registration fees. She said that such institutions may oblige their faculty members to join in International Conferences.

As a final resolution regarding membership, Dr. Castro advocates that RIPENet Constitution and by-Laws should provide a separate provision (Article 2) for the membership section. In relation to this, Dr. Navas requests Prof. Donna Remigio to prepare the Article to be approved by the Board, through gmail.

Regarding the International Research Conference on Teacher and Indigenous Peoples (IP) Education, Dr. Ontoy cites that very few or none yet is published nationally or internationally on IP Education. In relation to same issue, Dr. Navas shares the plan to put up a Journal for PNU North Luzon Campus, and this may be in collaboration with the RIPENet, subject to the approval of the Board. She added that the Journal to be created by PNU-NL Campus, will undergo checking and critiquing; pointing out that PNU “Normal Lights” underwent a long and difficult process before its recognition by the CHED.

Dr. Castro notes that most SUCs are after publication of their IP researches to refereed journals and recognized by CHED. Dr. Josue points that there are limited on-line published researches in IP. She expresses concerns on how to upload, assess, and make assurance of the quality for the uploading of IP researches to be published on-line. In her institution, she said that there are many Cultural-Anthropological researches that are waiting to be published on-line. The journal of her institution has already established their on-line publication although the processing was not easy because they have to create their own Website/OGS. Dr. Castro mentions that conditions are provided for the OGS. Dr. Ontoy understands that maybe this will be made possible meantime by taking a PAGE from the Internet, subjected to their terms and conditions. For the 2nd International Conference, Dr. Navas insinuates research-presenters to select the PNU “Normal Lights” for their publications. She stresses that the “Normal Lights” publication of PNU is now elevated as “International” ready for SCOPUS indexing. Dr. Castro agrees that publication of research is also a way to earn credits. She further supports one of the objectives of RIPENet to have a Journal for IP researches and eventually to have its launching at once.

In terms of research procedures, Dr. Garcia shares her observations that community elders and members give their consent to researcher/s. This is a part of protocols prior to conduct, presentation to conferences and publication of research outputs. The IP community expects for to the publication of IP researches. Prof. Amme Rose Blonto brings up that IP researches which are to be accepted for publication need to undergo the conventions. Publishing online is a long process, too.  She says that if it is allowed, she may request for their researches to be a part of the “Normal Lights” publication of PNU; and this shall create chances for IP researches to be published in a CHED accredited and refereed journal. Dr. Castro volunteers to seek help from NCIP through her linkages for the processing of research publications of IP researches. Dr. Garcia underscores that research data must be authentic since these represent the community. This justifies importance of protocols as requirement for publication of such IP researches. In cases that prior processes and documents are not yet carried out/secured, Prof. Blonto vouches for the issuance of certification for IP researches be considered meantime for the presentation. She guarantees however, that in the case of publication, NCIP requirements must be accomplished. Dr. Garcia reassures the group that the NCIP is in full support of presentation and publication of IP researches. The board resolves that the creation of journal which follows international standards will be included as a part of RIPENet committee including the duties of the Board members.

For future plans and activities, the board target the activities to be accomplished for every Quarter. For the First Quarter, the following undertakings are scheduled: creation of RIPENET Face book account, advertisement through fliers to be prepared by Prof. Amme Rose Blonto, coming up of online Chat room for the Board members, and designing of Social Media Platforms. For the Second Quarter, publication and journal are included. For the Third Quarter, the Capacitation of teachers is set on September, 2018, which is finally arranged to be held at PNU North Luzon. For the Fourth Quarter, Evaluation and Planning for the next Fiscal Year is expected. Dr. Navas advocates that the Evaluation and Planning will be in later part of November, 2018 and PNU North Luzon will request for a place at PNU Manila as temporary venue.

The board also confers issues on election that incorporate qualifications, invitation of prospects, activities related to election, and schedule of Election. The board members approve that election shall be convened on November 29, 2018.

The board focuses on important reminders such as PRC requirements for the accreditation, and to submit LET certificates. Prof. Donna Remigio shall prepare the documents for the accreditation and Dr. Castro will take charge on the processing of the accreditation.