BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) initiated the organization of an alliance of volunteers for autonomy in order to drum beat the renewed pursuit for Cordillera self-governance and initiate the needed lobby for President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to certify House Bill (HB) 4649 or the Cordillera autonomy bill as a priority administration measure.
Engr. Ines M. Basaen, a home-grown Baguio girl and a veteran community organizer, underscored the importance of establishing an alliance among Cordillerans and non-Cordillerans within and outside the region to strengthen local initiatives to gain national attention on the Cordillera’s renewed pursuit for regional autonomy.
“The quest for regional autonomy is a never ending process. Since it is a continuing endeavour, it is important that all activities are accounted for and that future actions be jointly planned. Moreover, it is equally important that the efforts and contributions of regional autonomy advocates and partners be recognized,” Basaen stressed.
The alliance of volunteers for autonomy include individuals, government agencies, civil society organizations among others who have the common cause of advancing the region’s quest from the regional to the national level and gain attention from the country’s policy makers and decision makers.
Under the alliance for autonomy, Basaen emphasized the need for autonomy advocates to engage the grassroots, the business sector, the civil society and the government in order to achieve the RDC-CAR’s overarching goal of gaining autonomous status for the region by the end of the President’s term.
Aside from establishing alliance, Basaen cited the importance of branding the autonomy campaign which is a form of making noise about the advocacy in visual way in order to strike the interst of viewers of what would be the appropriate branding for the advocacy on autonomy.
The core leaders of the alliance of volunteers for autonomy include Engr. Andres Ngao-I, Paulina Sawadan, John Bugaling, Mina Caimo, Ramon Dacawi, Helen Tibaldo , Alfredo Mondeguing, Rafael Tallocoy among others who attended the Alliance Building Workshop sponsored by the RDC-CAR last week.
Basaen cited the alliance must be able to organize or convene groups in the grassroots level and among civil society which will later among the alliances in the advocacy for regional autonomy.
“Creation does not need to start from scratch as there are groups that already exist such as women’s groups, youth groups as well as civil society organizations. To formally acknowledge them as alliances, they have to be convened by municipal and city core teams,” she added.
According to her, the multi-sectoral approach to social preparation for regional autonomy information and education materials such as statement shirts, caps, pins and stickers shall be distributed to the different sectors and groups.
Milagros A. Rimando, RDC-CAR vice chairperson and regional director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), expressed confidence the renewed pursuit for regional autonomy would gain greater heights in the future with the existence of the alliance.
By Dexter A. See