BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) passed a resolution encouraging the regional line agencies and local government units, higher education institutions, government bureaus and departments, civil society organizations and other concerned entities in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to actively participate and support the 32nd Cordillera month celebration and appropriate funds as necessary in the conduct of related activities.
The regional bodies chaired by outing Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan stated that the primary purpose of annually celebrating the founding anniversary of the region is to commemorate the creation of the CAR, and instill in the Cordillerans a heightened awareness and deeper appreciation of its history and aspirations.
With the theme ‘CAR@32; Building One Greater Cordillera,” this year’s Cordillera months activities is being coordinated by the RDC infrastructure development committee with the Department of Public Works and Highways–Cordillera Administrative Region (DPWH-CAR) as the lead agency, the Kalinga provincial government as host local government and project holder and the Department of the Interior and Local Government–Cordillera (DILG-CAR) as lead coordinator of the Unity Gong Relay.
Executive Order (EO) No. 220 issued by former President Corazon C. Aquino on July 15, 1987 created the CAR by putting together the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province and Baguio city From Region I and the provinces of Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao from Region II.
It aims to prepare the CAR for regional autonomy, thus, all government instrumentalities operating in the region are encouraged to actively participate in the annual celebration of the Cordillera month and to allocate funds for their participation in the month-long celebration.
For this year, the RDC-CAR infrastructure committee and the Kalinga provincial government lined up several activities, like the conduct of the week-long Unity gong Relay, fellowship night and Cordillera weave fashion show, ‘patkum’ or cultural theatrical concert, tree planting and audio-visual presentation on infrastructure gains and Kalinga’s potentials and legacies among others.
It can be recalled that the RDC-CAR decided to celebrate the annual Cordillera month by rotating the hosting of the activities in the different local governments with the RDC sectoral committees as their partners in the conduct of the prepared annual events.
The joint RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR resolution will be transmitted to all concerned sectors for their information, guidance, ready reference and further needed action.
The 1987 mandated the establishment of separate autonomous regions in the cordillera and Muslim Mindanao to help in speeding up the development of the said areas that were previously neglected by the national government considering that development interventions were primarily focused on populated urban areas around the country.
However, the Cordillera failed in its attempt to achieve autonomy twice considering that the proposed autonomy bill was watered down in the first attempt while the second proposed autonomy bill lacked ample time for the conduct of a massive information and education campaign because the plebiscite was done during the height of the 1998 presidential elections.
By Dexter A. See