BAGUIO CITY– Agriculture Secretary William Dar will be the guest of honor and speaker during the main program for the 33rd founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) which will be held at the Pedro Dumol Hall of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) along South Drive on Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Milagros A. Rimando, vice chairperson of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and regional director of the Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) said Secretary Dar already confirmed his personal attendance to the CAR founding anniversary program to be attended by concerned stakeholders from different parts of the region who will be able to travel to Baguio City for the said event.
However, she said that provinces and cities that will not send their delegations to attend the aforesaid event can still actively participate in the celebration of the region’s founding anniversary through virtual arrangement as part of the new normal that is emerging.
While it is true that Mountain Province withdrew its hosting of the various activities had been lined up for the celebration of the 33rd CAR founding anniversary, the NEDA-CAR official claimed that Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. committed to host the same events next year that include the traditional Unity Gong Relay and the main program for the said celebration.
Rimando added that messages from key personalities in the region will either be delivered through virtual or their personal presence that will spice up the said activity.
The theme of this year’s 33rd CAR founding anniversary is ‘One Resilient Cordillera, Embracing the New Normal Situation Towards Growth and Development.”
According to her, the Pedro Dumol Hall was chosen by the RDC-CAR as the venue for the region’s special day because of the strong internet connectivity to ensure the uninterrupted conduct of the program aside from it being spacious to be able to comply with the established health and safety protocols, especially on the adherence to physical distancing among those personally attending the event.
Director Rimando said the RDC-CAR understands the decision of the Mountain Province inter-agency task force in withdrawing from hosting this year’s CAR founding anniversary main program because of the prevailing crisis situation due to the wrath of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) which is now classified as global pandemic.
She stated the celebration of the region’s founding anniversary is a constant reminder for Cordillerans to continue the uphill climb to achieving autonomy pursuant to the mandate enshrined in the 1987 Constitution providing for the establishment of autonomous regions in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao..
On July 15, 2020, former President Corazon C. Aquino signed Executive Order (EO) No. 220 that put together the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province and Baguio City from Region I and the provinces of Apayao, Ifugao and Kalinga from Region II to form the CAR.
The creation of the CAR was an offshoot of the signing of the peace agreement between the Philippine government headed by President Corazon C. Aquino and the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) led by former rebel priest Conrado Balweg which was held at the Mount Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province on September 13, 1986.
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