(LA UNION) – Director-General Romulo Miral, Jr. (center, in white) with RDC Vice-chair and NEDA-CAR Dir. Milagros Rimando (center-left) and Asst. Dir. Jedidia Aquino (center-right) gather with Cordillera autonomy partners during its regular Partners’ Assembly & Capability Building Workshop.

SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION – A gathering of autonomy partners of the Regional Development Council (RDC) from various sectors reviewed the accomplishments and gains made in 2017 on the advocacy for regional autonomy. A learning session was also conducted as part of the RDC’s continuing capacity building program for its partners.  Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) Director-General Romulo Miral, Jr. also presented the PDP-Laban model of Philippine Federalism. The assembly was held on December 28 and 29, 2017 in San Fernando, La Union.

The partners reviewed the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and Alliance Building autonomy-related activities of the municipal and provincial LGUs, civil society organizations (CSOs), regional line agencies (RLAs), and the RDC’s Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR) program.

Highlights of last year’s accomplishments include the filing of House Bill 5343 signed by all CAR congressmen last March 2017 and the alliances established and strengthened with partners, namely, OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza, the Bangsamoro, and Institute for Autonomy and Governance.

Director Rimando reported that the documented 21,000 stakeholders from various sectors in 2017 who were informed on autonomy was made possible with the help of the RDC partners. She stressed, however, that much work is yet to be done in reaching all stakeholders. The partners and Director Rimando agreed that radio is still the best medium for IEC and this should be explored further in 2018.

Meantime, Director-General Miral shared that the PDP-Laban model of Philippine Federalism is currently the most comprehensive model available. He said that the main goals of the model are to activate each regions’ participation in national decision-making, accelerate economic development of the regions, and allow the preservation of the culture and language of the various ethno-linguistic groups in the country.

The insights and recommendations from the discussions were noted by NEDA as inputs to the program’s 2018 prospects.


by Marlo T. Lubguban, NEDA- SPCAR