PDP/RDP 2017-2022 Roadshow in Lagawe, Ifugao last July 13, 2017 was full of colors and rituals as the advocacy caravan traveled to all CAR provinces following  the July 8 -14, 2017 Unity Gong Relay.

The Philippine Development Plan/ Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 Roadshow Caravan in the Cordillera Administrative Region was successfully advocated  in all the  provincial capitals of the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao, Mountain Province and Baguio City from July 8 to 14, 2017.

The PDP/RDP  Roadshow followed the route of the Cordillera wide Unity Gong Relay, an annual activity every July to celebrate the region’s founding anniversary.  For each stop, there were provincial celebrations which includes the performance of native ritual (a pig is usually butchered as offering), a formal program with speeches from the leaders of the region and province. There were also cultural performances of native songs, dances and music.  The provincial celebrations were well attended by provincial, municipal and barangay officials as well as indigenous people’s organization in the provinces and the general public.

During the provincial celebrations, the PDP banners were hung in conspicuous places, PDP brochures, t-shirts, umbrellas, caps and fans were distributed carrying the messages of the PDP and RDP  namely,  “Aksyon Para sa Ambisyon” and “Tayo Nang Abutin ang Ating Ambisyon”.  Vehicles that were part of the Unity Gong Relay were also plastered with streamers and stickers on PDP/RDP.

NEDA Regional Director Milagros A. Rimando and her Assistant Regional Director Jedidia L. Aquino took turns speaking on  the PDP/RDP 2017-2022 in the provincial sorties.  In their speeches, they highlighted the 3 pillars of the Plan, namely “Malasakit, Pagbabago at Patuloy na Pag-unlad.” They also related the PDP/RDP to local plans and programs/projects as well as to the pursuit of regional autonomy in CAR.

Unity Gong Relay features the passing of the symbolic unity gong from one CAR province to another to drum beat the call for unity as a strategy to preserve Cordillera cultural heritage and for the people to work towards an Autonomous Region for the Cordillera.  CAR was created last July 15, 1987  through Executive Order 220 signed by then President Corazon Aquino and this year is the region’s 30th year anniversary.