NEDA, RDC continue Cordi autonomy advocacy
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.