BAGUIO CITY – “It is mandated in our Constitution that there should be an autonomous region in the Cordilleras. As long as that mandate is there, we will keep pursuing autonomy”, so spoke Atty. Delmar Cariño, as he gave a lecture on Cordillera Autonomy during the 2017 Regional Assembly: Performance Review and Team Building Activities of the Cordillera Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CAR) in Baguio City in the last quarter of last year. Around 150 delegates from all provincial offices were present.
Atty. Cariño’s talk centered on the political and legal context of Cordillera regional autonomy amidst the looming prospect of federalism. He compared and contrasted autonomy against federalism, emphasized how an autonomous Cordillera is not only possible but ideal under a federal set-up, and presented the Roadmap which envisions achieving regional autonomy first towards federalism by 2019, which was adopted by the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR).
Atty. Cariño is a member of the Cordillera Autonomy Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Speakers’ Bureau. IEC, as one of the three major program thrusts of NEDA/RDC-CAR’s Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR), aims to better inform and deepen the understanding of people on autonomy.
by Jared Jeric B. dela Cruz, NEDA- SPCAR