BONTOC, MT. PROVINCE – Delegates from the five municipalities of Mt. Province took on the challenge to become autonomy advocates during a two-day speakers’ training held on May 26-27, 2015. Seventy-five participants from the municipalities of Barlig, Bontoc, Paracelis, Sadanga, and Tadian attended to represent their municipalities.

In his opening remarks, Gov. Leonard Mayaen said that the participants will form the local government’s core members of speakers who will be sent out to the barangays, “You will be our partners in whatever time or year to help speak on regional autonomy in your respective areas,” he conveyed.

“Personally, I believe in autonomy,” he disclosed, communicating to the participants that Mt. Province can achieve greater heights if autonomy will be granted to the region.

Governor Mayaen urged the speakers to educate the participants on the basic idea and concept of autonomy and set aside discussions on the details of the House Bill since its contents are still subject to changes.

The pool of speakers  composed of members from the provincial government, Regional Development Council led by Private Sector Representative Mr.  John Bugaling, and NEDA acquainted the participants with the historical background on the pursuit for regional autonomy, three core messages of Cordillera regional autonomy, and the salient features of the third organic act. They were then engaged in skills development training and an advocacy practicum.

“Autonomy was initiated to give the region greater freedom,” said one of the participants when asked about how he would endorse the idea of regional autonomy in his community.

For the municipalities of Besao, Sabangan, Bauko, Natonin, and Sagada, the Provincial Management Task Force of Mt. Province plans to conduct the speakers’ training in the second semester of the year.