Tabuk City, Kalinga – Around 50 participants from the city of Tabuk, municipalities of Rizal, Balbalan, Tinglayan, and Pinukpuk, the Kalinga Provincial Police Office and media attended and actively participated in the Municipal IEC Speakers’ Training on January 22, 2019 which aimed at training potential municipal speakers on regional autonomy who will re-echo what they have learned at the grassroots level.
Governor Jocel C. Baac challenged the participants to do more to raise awareness and support among all the residents of Kalinga, and to push their representative in Congress to really work on the autonomy bill.
Engr. Andres Ngao-i, member of the IEC Speakers’ Bureau, expounded on the history of the Cordillera and the struggle for autonomy. He shared that even prior to colonization, Cordillerans already practiced autonomy. He also said the injustices against them led the Cordillerans to resist against the oppressive laws and projects of the government. It was through Executive Order that the Cordillera Administrative Region was created to administer the affairs of the government in the region, accelerate the economic and social growth and development of the units of the region, and prepare for the establishment of the autonomous region in the Cordilleras. There were two plebiscites conducted, one in 1990, where only Ifugao voted yes, and another in 1998 where only Apayao voted yes.
Mr. Laurence Bayongan presented the three core messages of autonomy: enhanced Cordillera identity, responsive policies for the region and progress for all. He also discussed the salient features of Cordillera autonomy.
The participants committed to re-echo their learnings to the grassroots. The Cordillera office of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA–CAR), as the secretariat of the Regional Development Council, continues to conduct training of the potential municipal speakers, and IECs in the grassroots. The RDC-CAR also conducted a similar training in Ifugao last February 7, 2019.
By Gigi G. Estanoco