The panelists during the forum on Peace and the Right to Self-determined Development of the People of Abra: (left to right) CHR Reg. Dir. Romel P. Daguimol, NEDA Reg. Dir. Milagros A. Rimando, Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) Coordinator Ms. Beverly Longid , Gabriella Women’s Partylist Rep. Arlene D. Brosas, SOLIDAGRO Dir. Tim De Roeck, and Deputy Eddy Coukuyt of the Province of East Flanders, Belgium.

BANGUED, ABRA – A forum on Peace and the Right to Self-determined Development of the people of Abra was conducted on February 20, 2018 in this town.

Representatives from various people’s organizations from the province shared the status of peace and order in their area, and their concerns on the delivery of social development projects from the government which they claimed as slow.

RDC Vice-chair and NEDA-CAR Dir. Rimando suggested that these issues and concerns can be solved through expanded dialogue with the agencies concerned. On the slow delivery of government service and projects, she said that there is a need to improve the road network to improve access to social development services.

Rimando shared the Ambisyon 2040 and the strategic framework for attaining just and lasting peace which is outlined in the Cordillera Regional Development Plan. She mentioned that this will be achieved, through the decrease in poverty incidence and disruptions to community life, and implementation of peace agreements and peace building activities. She called for support to regional autonomy towards federalism saying that autonomy will strengthen indigenous systems that promote peace and socio-economic development in the region.

Said forum was organized by the Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC). It was attended by the various people’s organizations in Abra and its national and international partners with representatives from some regional government agencies. (Gigi G. Estanoco, NEDA- SPCAR)