NEDA, CHED chal­lenge youth in re­gional Press Con

Sun.Star Baguio - - Top Stories -

THE NA­TIONAL Eco­nomic and De­vel­op­ment Author­ity has part­nered with the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion in the Cordillera re­gion to bring the mes­sage of au­ton­omy to cam­pus jour­nal­ists dur­ing the 20th Re­gional Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Press Con­fer­ence in Baguio City held Novem­ber 29 and 30.

Au­ton­omy ad­vo­cate Gary Pekas of Moun­tain Province with NEDA-CAR pro­vided in­for­ma­tion on the ba­sic con­cepts of au­ton­omy, its his­tory, and high­lights of the re­newed pursuit of Cordillera as de­tailed in the pro­posed Or­ganic Act (HB 5343) es­tab­lish­ing the Au­tonomous Re­gion of the Cordillera.

Pekas dis­cussed indige­nous Cordiller­ans, along with other indige­nous peo­ples in the Philip­pines, are the best rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the Philip­pines be­fore colo­nial­ism.

“Look at the de­pic­tion of Lapu-lapu and you’ll see sim­i­lar ar­ti­cles of cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories: ba­hag, bolo; we come from the same roots,” he said.

Pekas added Cordilleran sense of self-deter­mi­na­tion was sim­ply a mat­ter of sur­vival. He re­ferred to var­i­ous de­vel­op­ment pro­grams in the 20th cen­tury that dis­en­fran­chised many Cordiller­ans and high­lighted the Chico river dam project as the break­ing point.

Cordilleran au­ton­omy is based upon on the his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural dif­fer­ences built over cen­turies of colo­nial­ism and the sub­se­quent in­ap­pro­pri­ate laws and poli­cies that failed to take ac­count of these dif­fer­ences.

Pekas chal­lenged the cam­pus jour­nal­ists to raise aware­ness of Cordillera au­ton­omy em­pha­siz­ing au­ton­omy is granted to the re­gion since the Con­sti­tu­tion was rat­i­fied by the peo­ple in­clud­ing the man­date for au­ton­omy.

The Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil with NEDA-CAR as its tech­ni­cal sec­re­tariat has adopted Cordillera au­ton­omy as the over­ar­ch­ing theme of re­gional de­vel­op­ment. Aligned with the na­tional gov­ern­ment’s

plans for Fed­er­al­ism, which pro­vides more au­ton­omy to re­gions of the coun­try, the re­gion and its lead­ers have agreed to pur­sue Cordillera au­ton­omy first to­wards fed­er­al­ism. This will en­sure that the re­gion will se­cure an en­hanced iden­tity and be able to craft more re­spon­sive poli­cies that will bring progress to all.

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