BAGUIO CITY – “Let the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera be born!”, Agriculture Secretary William Dar asserted, as the keynote speaker during the 33rd CAR Founding Anniversary celebration on July 15 which was successfully conducted through the collaboration of the Regional Development Council and the National Economic and Development Authority as its secretariat, with the Economic Development Sectoral Committee as the lead committee.

As a Cordilleran and a strong advocate of Cordillera autonomy, Dar underscored that the pursuit of autonomy should guide socio-economic development in the Cordillera region. He noted that the continued campaign for Cordillera autonomy must also provide the needed technical support and guidance to advance local government and community initiatives in addressing peoples’ lack of understanding and awareness of the Cordillera autonomy as well as combatting misinformation by some groups.

Dar highlighted the resilience of the Cordillerans which he said is rooted in the ways of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera which can encourage faster development in the region and contribute to nation-building. Citing Sadanga, Mountain Province, he recognized that indigenous systems are being practiced such as the responsibility of the members of the community to consider each other’s needs, and the citizens’ right to participate in socio-political discourses and decision-making.

With this month’s celebration theme of “One Resilient Cordillera: Embracing the New Normal towards Recovery”, Dar committed the resources of the Department of Agriculture which has an annual regional budget of ₱1.1B for the recovery, development of the agriculture sector and the development of rural areas in the Cordillera.

The State of the Region Address will be presented on July 29 in a culminating event which will detail the region’s development gains and ways forward.