With the advocacy of the Duterte administration to shift to a federal form of government, the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) convened its IEC and AB partners to review and enhance the modules in the advocacy for autonomy.

The Secretariat presented the SPCAR Roadmap, IEC Modules and the best practices of DSWD- CAR and LGU- La Trinidad on their IEC on autonomy.

The advocates, with the aid of Engr. Ines Basaen, have provided their inputs in the SPCAR Roadmap towards the establishment of a Cordillera Autonomous Region. Amongst them are activities on the three program thrusts such as IEC, Alliance Building and Capability Building. For other IEC collaterals, the participants commented on the autonomy jingle and proposed to include “Ilokanos” in the lyrics as well as engage the participation of the private sector in composing the jingle.

DSWD- CAR has also shared its best practices in integrating autonomy in the 4Ps Family Development Session Module. The participants agreed that the FDS Module can be replicated, laymanized and translated to local dialects. LGU- La Trinidad, on the other hand, emphasized that the success of their IEC on autonomy lies on the support of their Local Chief Executive.

Atty. Benedicto Bacani, Executive Director of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), proposed a two- track approach in the quest for autonomy. The first was to pass the organic law in Congress and plebiscite in the next three years to preserve the constitutional autonomy status of the Cordillera. The second is to have a stronger and unified position in the proposed charter change for the retention of the provisions mandating the creation of autonomous regions in Mindanao and Cordillera.  He also said that there is a possibility for the existence of an autonomous region within a federal state or the creation of a separate Cordillera federal state depending on the strategy to be employed by the advocates.

To complement the statements of Atty. Bacani, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan emphasized the timeline for the passage of the Cordillera Autonomy. He stressed that the autonomy bill and the plebiscite should be passed by 2018 for the inclusion of the regional officials in the 2019 national and local elections.

The activity ended with a Cordillera dance clinic facilitated by Mr. Garry Dong-gayao of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP- CAR).



by: Maridel P. Langbis, SPCAR