The basic education department of the region is calling on all public and private schools to commemorate every September 13th the 1986 Sipat Peace Talks which led to the creation of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The Department of Education–CAR (DepEd CAR), through a memorandum, urged all its schools to carry out activities in celebration of the forging of a sipat or peace agreement between the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) led by Fr. Conrado Balweg and by then President Corazon C. Aquino on September 13, 1986, at the Mt. Data Hotel in Bauko, Mt. Province.
Also known as the Mt. Data Peace Accord, the historic event paved way for the late Aquino to issue Executive Order No. 220 creating the Cordillera Administrative Region with the mandate to administer the affairs of government in the region, accelerate the economic and social growth and development of the unit of the region, and prepare for the establishment of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera. This is likewise reflected in Article X, Section 15 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
Before EO 220, Abra, Benguet, Baguio City and Mt. Province were under Region 1 while Ifugao, Kalinga, and Apayao were part of Region 2.
“This is our way of boosting the historical and cultural consciousness of our young learners and stir up their spirit of heroism, patriotism and unity; this is likewise in line with the observance of the National Peace Consciousness Month,” said regional director May B. Eclar.
The regional directive likewise enumerated some activities schools may conduct until the end of September such as information education campaigns on regional autonomy, holding of contests, putting up of informative materials in bulletin boards, or organizing of simple campus program to be participated in by learners.
“Even the integration of information of the significance of the date during class discussions and during flag raising rites will a go a long way in inculcating this historic event to our youth as well as to our DepEd personnel,” added Eclar.
For the information education campaigns on regional autonomy, schools may directly contact the National Economic and Development Authority – Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (NEDA-SPCAR) at their office at Leonard Wood Rd., Baguio City or the DepEd CAR’s Public Affairs Unit at Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.
By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 802, series 2019, September 13, 2019, was recently declared a special non-working holiday in the region to allow the Cordillera peoples to celebrate and participate in the occasion.
By Georaloy I. Palao-ay