BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council through NEDA-CAR and NCIP will conduct a series of engagements with Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) across the Cordillera Administrative Region in December. The IPMRs will have a refresher on Cordillera autonomy and updates on recent the proposed laws establishing the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera.

An initiative of NCIP Commissioner for Region 1 and CAR, Gaspar Cayat, the IPMR IEC training aims to enhance the Cordillera elders’ skills in disseminating information on Cordillera autonomy. According to Cayat, the IPMRs are crucial allies in the communities and in gathering support for the advocacy. Each province will host its own training activity assisted by the provincial NCIP offices and the local members of the RDC Autonomy IEC speakers’ bureau.

Abra IPMRs completed their training with seasoned regional autonomy advocates Abra Provincial Board Member Leonard Andanan and Philip Tingonong of the Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government (CCAGG) focus on proposed provisions affecting the IP sector.

Currently, there are three bills filed in Congress establishing the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera, Senate Bill 1232 filed by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, House Bill 5687 filed by all CAR Congressmen, and House Bill 7778 filed by Benguet Caretaker Congressman Eric Yap. With increasing support for Cordillera autonomy legislation, having a pool of advocates ready for information dissemination is crucial for attaining the ‘yes’ vote during the plebiscite.