Tabuk City – The Provincial government of Kalinga and NEDA-CAR have scheduled to capacitate autonomy advocates to effectively disseminate information of Cordillera autonomy and help gain the support of fellow i-Kalinga. The training will be conducted in Tabuk City on January 22. Municipal and barangay officials from Tabuk City, along with the towns of Rizal, Balbalan, Pinukpok and Tinglayan are invited. These are the identified priority areas in Kaligna for the Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) thrust of NEDA-CAR based on the 2017 Cordillera autonomy awareness pulse survey.

This training is the first of two phases in an effort by NEDA-CAR to prioritize the grassroots in the IEC thrust. It will consist of the basic concepts of regional autonomy and its differences and similarities with the administration’s goal of transitioning to a federal form of government. The training will also orient the speakers on the Regional Development Council’s renewed pursuit of Cordillera autonomy towards federalism.

The people of Kalinga played a significant role during the Cordillerans’ early pursuit of regional autonomy. The province became known internationally for the strong opposition of the i-Kalinga against the proposed Chico River Dam Project in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The Pangat or village chief Macli-ing Dulag of the Butbut tribe of Tinglayan, Kalinga was martyred during this period for his opposition to the project.

The autonomy pursuit was conceived out of the need for Cordilleran self-determination in matters of development, resource management, and upholding the rights of the various indigenous peoples in the region. NEDA-CAR aims to raise awareness of the Cordillera autonomy as it is seen as the best way to achieve sustainable development and lasting peace in the region.

The current pursuit of Cordillera autonomy focuses on providing an enhanced regional identity, formulating responsive policies, and ensuring progress for all sectors in the region. Cordillera autonomy is the central theme of the Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 which also includes the development of Tabuk City and its surrounding municipalities as an agri-industrial growth center and potential center of the autonomous regional government.