MAYOYAO, Ifugao – The RDC through NEDA, DepEd, and LGU Mayoyao partnered for the conduct of a forum on regional autonomy held in this town on February 27, 2016. A total of 100 teachers from 21 elementary schools participated in the one-day forum.

Teachers in Ifugaowere influential catalyst of learning and understanding during the firstplebiscite to ratify Cordillera regional autonomy which contributed to the ratification of the first Cordillera autonomy organic act in 1990, said Mr. Peter Dumaguing, a member of the Cordillera Autonomy Speakers’ Bureau.

Issues relevant to the education sector were tackled such as the issue on student-classroom ratio pertinent to the Fair and Equitable Access to Education Act or Roxas Law – a national standard deemed unfriendly to the situation of the Cordillera region. Other issues like wealth sharingwere also raised.

Mr. Laurence Balud, also a member of the Cordillera Autonomy Speakers’ Bureau cited“We are the host municipality, we are the host community, and yet we are the last priority.”Many areas in the region do not have yet access to electricity, despite being the host community that provides the resources to run hydroelectric power plants, he added.

Mayoyao, a fourth class municipality and a host to the Magat Hydroelectric Power Plant together with the municipalities of  Hingyon and Banaue experience the same challenges on wealth sharing similar to host communities of large mining corporations in Benguet.

Mayoyao DepEd Supt. Anita Guingayansaid that the forum was very informative hence, DepEd will be coordinating with the Regional Development Council (RDC) for the conduct of  asimilar activity for secondary school teachers.

Forums for teachers are continuously being prioritized by the RDC to shed light onproblems that regionalautonomy aims to address. Since 2014, seminars and forums on regional autonomy have reached 1,748 elementary and secondary school teachers region wide.

 

by Mark Allen Ponciano, SPCAR