Representative Jose “Bentot” T. Panganiban Jr. was born in Barangay Fugaru, Angadanan, Isabela. He is popularly known among his friends and relatives as “Bentot”, a son of a poor farmer Jose Bullungan Panganiban and Esmeralda Paggao Tallera who hails from the indigenous people’s group of Gaddang and Itawes tribe of Isabela. He is married to Lourdes Segarra Panganiban, the current Municipal Mayor of Angadanan, Isabela. They were blessed with five children, Joelle Mathea, Janelle Micaela, Joselle Mariela, Jose III and Josef Marcos Immanuel.
Representative Panganiban studied at Ay Kun School in Alicia, Isabela during his elementary years and graduated as Valedictorian and his secondary education at Philippine Yuh Chiau School as 1st honorable mention. He pursued his college education at Philippine School of Business Administration – Manila and graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Major in Accounting in 1989 as CUM LAUDE. On the following year, he passed the licensure examination for Certified Public Accountant. In pursuit of further education, he studied at San Beda College of Law and graduated in 2003 as 2nd place with the degree of Bachelor of Laws.
He started his career in the private sector, as a Management Consultant and Auditor of Punong Bayan & Araullo, CPAs – an affiliate of Ernst and Young International in 1989. He then joined Nestle Philippines Incorporated as Management Trainee and worked as an expatriate in Jakarta, Indonesia as Finance Director of PT Infiniti Wahana, Tbk. from 1992 to 1998. In 1999, he came back to the Philippines and organized Infiniti Philippines Incorporated, a private corporation where he is the Chairman.
In his desire to uplift the socio-economic conditions of his town mates, he entered public/government service by serving as Punong Barangay in 2002, the smallest political unit in the Philippines. He was then appointed as Sanguniang Bayan Member and was elected as Municipal Mayor for two successive terms in 2004-2010 and then as a Vice-Mayor in 2010-2013, all in the Municipality of Angadanan, Isabela.
In pursuit of his advocacy to represent the indigenous people sector where he belongs, Representative Panganiban organized Ang National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples Action Na, Inc. otherwise known as ANAC-IP, a sectoral group organized to promote, protect and fight for the rights and welfare of indigenous people (IP’s) and indigenous cultural communities (ICC’s).
He is in his 2nd term as representative of ANAC-IP partylist in the House of Representatives of the Philippines and currently the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food and Vice- Chair Person of the Committee on Indigenous Peoples. Among the notable house measures filed by Congressman Panganiban in the 17th Congress are HB No. 577 “An Act Creating the Department of Indigenous People; HB No. 578 “An Act Providing a National Scholarship Program for Indigenous People; HB No. 393 “An Act Mandating Local Government Units to allocate 20% of their 20% Development Fund for IP’s and ICC’s; and HB No. 2247 “An Act Abolishing Irrigation Service Fees.