Mr. Joel Cervantes, member of the Regional Autonomy Speaker’s Bureau shares the history of regional autonomy in the Cordilleras during the Training Orientation on FDS Module of Parent Leaders for Cordillera Autonomy on May 3-6, 2016 at the Baguio Crown Legacy Hotel.

Mr. Joel Cervantes, member of the Regional Autonomy Speaker’s Bureau shares the history of regional autonomy in the Cordilleras during the Training Orientation on FDS Module of Parent Leaders for Cordillera Autonomy on May 3-6, 2016 at the Baguio Crown Legacy Hotel.

Baguio City—The clamor for an autonomous region continues to reach more stakeholders as it is now a topic integrated during the Training Orientation for Parent Leaders on Family Development Session (FDS) Module conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on May 3- 6, 2016 at the Baguio Crown Legacy Hotel.

The activity was conducted to inform and capacitate the Pantawid Pamilya parent leaders to become facilitators of FDS on Cordillera Autonomy. The FDS is an effective venue to increase the awareness of the people on autonomy.

Ms. Cecile Basawil, DSWD’s 4Ps Program Coordinator, cheerfully acknowledged the parent leaders for their active participation in the agency’s endeavors. She said that this orientation on autonomy will train the parent leaders to become speakers and advocates of autonomy in their respective barangays.

Mr. Joel Cervantes and Mr. Lawrence Balud, members of the Regional Autonomy Speakers’ Bureau, shared with the participants the history and three core messages of regional autonomy in the Cordilleras.

“People’s low level of awareness on autonomy led to the failure of the two plebiscites. This is the reason for the renewed pursuit of the RDC-CAR to increase the level of awareness of people in the region,” said Mr. Cervantes.

“Thus the need for us to inform and capacitate you as autonomy speakers in your respective barangays,” he added.

Mr. Balud likewise summarized the autonomy core messages as 3Rs, that is, Roots for identity, Reign for responsive policies to the Cordilleras, and Road for progress and development of all.

Participants urged that the disadvantages of regional autonomy should be mentioned during the activity. Speakers responded that, “we have to become autonomous before we could see the disadvantages.” Mr. Balud assured the participants that in case of a disadvantage, such would be cured with a subsequent law. They also inquired about the political structure of a regional government and its difference with the current political system. Mr. Cervantes said that the regional government will have a regional governor and legislative assembly chosen by the people region wide.

The issue on the sharing of resources among the different provinces was also brought in the open forum which Mr. Balud affirmatively responded that the establishment of an Autonomous Region in the Cordilleras will automatically mean that provinces will share their resources with other provinces.

The session on autonomy ended with Nanay Magie’s statement. She said, “ti awtonomiya gayam ket ti kayat na nga saowen agsarili da ti badyet. Kasla nga ag-asawa nga maisina tapno amu da ti awan kenyada, agsarili dan nga agbadyet tapnu mapadanun da ti panagkaykaysa ijay uneg ti pamilya da.”(What autonomy means is for the region to have its own budget. It is like a married couple separated from their respective families, to know what they do not have and to be able to manage their own funds and finances for the betterment of their family.)

This activity was an initiative of the DSWD, as a member agency of the RDC-CAR,towards the preparation of the Cordilleras for autonomy.