NEDA, RDC con­tinue Cordi au­ton­omy ad­vo­cacy

Sun.Star Baguio - - Top Stories -

AU­TON­OMY Ad­vo­cates gath­ered in Baguio City to as­sess 2018 ac­com­plish­ments in re­la­tion to the Cordillera au­ton­omy roadmap and strate­gize for the up­com­ing year dur­ing the SPCAR As­sess­ment and strat­egy work­shop re­cently.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil (RDC) Chair and Baguio City Mayor Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan thanked the ad­vo­cates for help­ing raise aware­ness and gain sup­port for Cordillera au­ton­omy.

“I do not think we can have the or­ganic act passed in the 17th Con­gress, we must look for­ward to the 18th. We are open to sug­ges­tions to amend the bill as long as they are vi­able and bet­ter than the ex­ist­ing pro­vi­sions in the pro­posed bill,” Do­mo­gan said.

Mi­la­gros Ri­mando, Na­tional eco­nomic and De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity - CAR said ad­vo­cacy has sus­tained its in­flu­ence through­out the year with over 21,000 stake­hold­ers reached in its in­for­ma­tion drives and al­liance build­ing events. The ad­vo­cacy gained many al­lies and cham­pi­ons with the help of na­tional ad­vo­cates in­clud­ing the In­sti­tute for Au­ton­omy and Gover­nance (IAG), the Of­fice of the Pres­i­den­tial Ad­viser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and later, the Pres­i­den­tial Leg­isla­tive Li­ai­son Of­fice (PLLO).

Ear­lier, the RDC rec­og­nized and thanked for­mer Peace Sec. Je­sus Dureza for the con­tri­bu­tions he made in the past two years in the ad­vo­cacy for Cordillera au­ton­omy in the re­gion.

Ad­vo­cates rec­og­nized the shift in the work to be done for 2019 and sug­gested the elec­tion year pro­vides a good op­por­tu­nity to up­date the au­ton­omy ad­vo­cacy roadmap. One ad­vo­cate urged the body to make Cordillera au­ton­omy an elec­tion is­sue to drum up aware­ness, dis­cus­sion, and com­mit­ment among can­di­dates and vot­ers.

The body agreed that rais­ing awareTHE

ness and sup­port among Cordilleran stake­hold­ers has im­proved over the years and must be sus­tained. How­ever, the bill it­self must be re­fined and progress through Con­gress, they urged. This is so that the au­ton­omy speak­ers will have a more con­sis­tent and uni­fied mes­sage when con­tin­u­ing to ad­vo­cate for au­ton­omy.

Ri­mando added the tech­ni­cal work­ing group on the pro­posed Cordillera or­ganic act can con­vene this early to look at all the sug­gested amend­ments and to re­fine the draft bill.

RDC and NEDA has led the re­newed pur­suit of Cordillera au­ton­omy since 2006 through grass­roots to na­tional in­for­ma­tion drives and al­liance build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Based on the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion and the Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Plan, au­ton­omy is con­sid­ered the best route to­wards sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, and just and last­ing peace in the re­gion.

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