The Cordillera Administrative Region officially began its 28th Founding Anniversary celebration with a kapihan held at the newly-built DENR-CAR building in Pacdal, Baguio City on June 24, 2015.
The panel members included Director Ralph Pablo, DENR-CAR Regional Director and Chairman of the RDC Watershed Secom which is coordinating this year’s Cordillera Month celebration; DILG Director John Castañeda; RDC Secretary and NEDA-CAR Asst. Regional Director Jedidia Aquino; and TESDA Provincial Director for Apayao Director Victor Brioso.
During the Kapihan, Director Pablo announced the various activities lined-up for the month-long celebration. With the theme “Conserving the Environment Towards a Greener Cordillera”, most of the activities highlight the region’s abundant natural resources and environment that need to be conserved and protected.
Apayao’s TESDA Director Brioso added that the Province of Apayao will also be treating Cordillera Month visitors to ecotours, a job fair and a Coffee Pavillion that will showcase the region’s renowned coffee products. The Province will also host the Stakeholders’ Night which will feature the first-ever Search for Dayag ti Cordillera on July 14, a day before the Culminating Program and Parade.
The winners of the the FLAME Awards of the CAR RDC Director will also be announced during the Culminating Program, Director Castañeda said. Conducted for the first time, the search for the LGU winners of the FLAME, which stands for Forwarding Local Autonomy Medal of Excellence, gives recognition to excellence in local governance and commends the dynamic participation of local governments in RDC activities and initiatives.
The kapihan was also an opportunity for Asst. Regional Director Aquino to explain the rationale for the RDC’s renewed pursuit of autonomy. She said that an autonomous Cordillera region will help bring about a common Cordillera identity. It will also provide opportunities for the region to come up with policies that are responsive to the Cordillera situation, helping the region pursue growth that includes everyone and all sectors in the region.
Encouraging the Cordillerans to monitor the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) developments, she said that “even if the push for autonomy in Mindanao is basically political in nature and that of the Cordillera Region is anchored on the management of the region’s natural resources, we can learn a lot from the BBL experience .”