BANAUE, IFUGAO – The Regional Development Council – CAR on January 18, 2017 during its Orientation, Assessment and Planning Workshop has adopted a new three-year roadmap to prepare the region for autonomy.
It targets that by 2019, an organic act to establish the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera (ARC) is approved and ratified – set prior to the targeted amendment of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, and 2020 to 2022 transition to a federal government.
The new roadmap is a response to relevant developments in the local and national terrain, particularly attuned to the present administration’s move towards federalism.
The three-year roadmap is anchored on the assumption that the transition to a federal system will be rapid i.e., around 3-4 years, according to RDC vice chair and NEDA Regional Director Milagros Rimando.
The roadmap highlights the commitment of the RDC to continuously intensify the multilevel advocacy for autonomy. Along the filing and ratification of the new draft organic act, the new roadmap targets substantial increase in awareness and reduction in the number of stakeholders who are still undecided whether to support the bid. Such will be achieved through strengthened awareness campaign to the grassroots level, lobbying to both local and national leaders, increasing the pool of advocates, convergence and joint advocacy with the Bangsamoro autonomy stakeholders, conduct of regional and national summits on autonomy and federalism, and the regular conduct of Pulse Surveys to gauge regional awareness and support.
In the same meeting, the RDC also adopted the 2017 Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR) Work and Financial Plan containing the list of initiatives to be undertaken in 2017.
As the project manager and administrator of the social preparation program, NEDA-CAR shall continue to monitor the implementation of the planned activities in the roadmap that will eventually bring the region to autonomous status.
by Mark Allen Ponciano, SPCAR