A turnover ceremony for the newly constructed Php 15 million Indigenous Peoples (IP) Tulugan Center took place at the City Hall Complex on February 22, 2024.

The event commenced with a traditional “pangagda” ritual, followed by the ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Congressman of the second district Atty. Jonathan Keith T. Flores, Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran, Vice Mayor Estelito R. Marabe, IPMR Renato Sumbongan, and Tribal Chieftain Harry Sumbongan.

Also in attendance were City Councilors of the 9th SP, tribal chieftains, and representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways District 2.

The multipurpose building, intended for tribal meetings and rituals, was constructed by Devrex Construction Services under the supervision of DPWH District 2. It was funded by Congressman Flores and features amenities such as bedrooms, 70 chairs, and CCTV surveillance. Construction began on February 8, 2023, and was completed on December 15, 2023.

During the ceremony, the responsibility of the center was officially transferred to IPMR Sumbongan, who expressed gratitude to Congressman Flores and Mayor Pabillaran for their support in preserving IP culture. He highlighted the significance of the center as the first of its kind in the province, serving as a tribal court and meeting place for the city’s IP leaders, and guests from 46 barangays.

Congressman Flores reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting IP communities and promoting their culture. He emphasized the importance of utilizing the center for its intended purpose.

Mayor Pabillaran praised the unity displayed by the city’s recognized tribes – the Bukidnon, Higaonon, and Umayamnon – and thanked Congressman Flores for the project. He emphasized the city’s role as a model for preserving and promoting IP culture, tradition, and welfare.

In a significant moment, Congressman Flores was honored with the title of “Datu Makatuntay” through a traditional ritual, recognizing his unwavering support and assistance to the IP communities during times of need.