EU Ambassador Véron visits the Cordillera Administrative Region

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EU Ambassador Luc Véron will visit development projects funded by the European Union (EU) and engage with local stakeholders in the Cordillera Administrative Region from 20 to 22 October.

During his first regional outreach, he will pay courtesy visits to Baguio City Mayor and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong and Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan.

He will hold a dialogue with indigenous people’s champions from different tribes in the Cordilleras. The “Indigenous Peoples Champions from the Philippines” is an EU project with a grant of PhP 14 million which aims to support indigenous peoples in the Bangsamoro and Cordillera and to engage national and sub-national institutions with a mandate to protect and promote indigenous rights.

This is also in keeping with the EU’s recognition of the important role of the indigenous peoples in nurturing culture and tradition and in protecting the environment. The project is implemented by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, a Sweden based international organisation in partnership with a Philippine nongovernment organisation, Institute for Autonomy and Governance, Inc.

The EU ambassador will hand over inclusive disaster and climate risk modules and inclusive early warning kits to civil society organisations and local government officials from Itogon, Benguet.
This will take place in the context of the EMPOWER project, which aims to strengthen the resilience of high-risk communities in disaster and climate risk governance in the municipalities of Itogon and Pinukpuk. EMPOWER stands for “Empowering Municipalities, Barangays, Civil Society Organizations and People’s Organizations through Working Together to Enhance Disaster and Climate Risk Governance.” It officially started in January 2020 and covers 23 barangays from Pinukpuk and 9 barangays from Itogon with a grant of Php 22 million. The project is implemented by the Adventist and Relief Agency and Humanity and Inclusion.

Ambassador Véron will also meet with officials from Saint Louis University and the University of the Cordilleras, grantees of capacity-building EU Erasmus+ projects. These are transnational cooperation projects, based on multilateral partnerships, primarily between higher education institutions from the EU and from partner countries including the Philippines.

Ambassador Véron said that this first of a series of outreach activities will help the EU Delegation understand the realities on the ground while ensuring safety of participants in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.

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