BAGUIO CITY – National officials lauded CAR’s collective resilience and manifested their support to the region and its pursuit of regional autonomy with various messages. This year’s Cordillera month celebration was led by the Regional Development Council through its Economic Sectoral Committee, and NEDA as secretariat of the RDC.

“While asserting your right to self-determination, you diligently seek to make a mark in the world”, said Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año. He recognized the traits of Cordillerans in the various fronts while being deeply rooted in their proud cultural heritage to include gallantry in peace & order and security, excellence in academe, brilliance and creativity in technological advancement, and hard work in industry and infrastructure.

Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay, a son of the Cordillera underscored the distinct Cordillera resilience, resourcefulness, and strong sense of community which he said are the inspirations for the quest for Cordillera autonomy.

With this year’s theme “One Resilient Cordillera: Embracing the New Normal towards Recovery”, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Rafael-Banaag, a daughter of the Cordillera, emphasized the commitment to being one resilient Cordillera, carrying the values, hopes and dreams of the past leaders of the Cordillera in which the culture, traditions, experiences, and collective vision have led to a region that is always ready to face new challenges. Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones, an adopted daughter of Kalinga, also commended the unity and resilience of Cordillerans amid the struggles the region faced from the time the Cordillera region was established.

DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña, and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez renewed their commitment to the region through their mandates of assisting and supporting investors, providing quality skills training which can help empower Cordillerans, and continuous price monitoring, providing livelihood kits, and SME loan, among others.

Moreover, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Commissioner for CAR and Region 1 calls on a united Cordillera to strive for self-determination, self-governance and equal development. For his part, Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez encouraged everyone to work hand-in-hand and continue to move forward for a more peaceful, progressive, and autonomous Cordillera.

The RDC Economic Sectoral Committee through DTI, DA, DOST, DOT, and TESDA conducted webinars on Cordilleran and business resilience throughout the month.