After a slow start in 2007 and the early months of 2008, implementation of the RDC-CAR Agenda on Regional Development and Autonomy 2008-2010 went into full gear in the second half of 2008.

 

On April 5-7, 2008, the RDC conducted a Strategic Planning Conference in Sagada and Bontoc, Mt. Province where the RDC reviewed its Action Agenda for 2006-2010 including the regional autonomy action plans incorporated in the Action Agenda.  The major output of the Strategic Planning Conference was the RDC-CAR Action Agenda 2008-2010 identifying 28 regional priority thrusts, all streamlined and refocused towards preparing the region for autonomy along the 8-plus areas of regional autonomous governance in accordance with Article 10, section 20 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

 

Subsequently, adjustment and refinement of the RDC-CAR Agenda on Regional Development and Autonomy 2008-2010 and the corresponding Work and Financial Plan followed suit.  The Regional Development and Autonomy Agenda now has three major program thrusts: (1) Information, education and communication; (2) Capacitation and phasing-in of prospective regional autonomy implementors and enablers; and (3) Program management and continuing engagement with Malacañang, NGAs and Congress for increasing support to CAR (see Box 1).

 

Between May and June 2008, the RDC Secretariat prepared the first Progress Report on the implementation of the Regional Development and Autonomy Agenda.  The Progress Report which included a 2009 budget proposal for the refined work program under the RDC Special Autonomy Fund (RDC-SAF) was submitted to Malacañang through the central offices of the Department of Budget and Management and National Economic and Development Authority.  On August 27, 2008 the RDC conducted an RDC Advisory Committee meeting with our Cordillera Congressmen where the Progress Report was presented.  Our Cordillera Congressmen favorably accepted the report and likewise favorably endorsed the inclusion of the 2009 proposed Agenda budget in the 2009 National Expenditure Program, and subsequently inclusion in the approved 2009 General Appropriations Act.

 

With the assured continued funding for the Agenda to cover at least the 2009 programs/ projects/activities (PPAs), the RDC then proceeded in October 2008 with the joint Memorandum of Agreement signing for PPAs to be funded under the RDC-SAF.  In all, 18 MOAs have been signed with 15 partner agencies and local government units.  This includes 7 MOAs under Program Thrust 1, 10 MOAs under Program Thrust 2 and a lone MOA under Program Thrust 3.

 

Several trailblazing IEC activities were conducted in the latter part of 2008 that triggered interest, albeit on some occasions controversy over the issue on Cordillera regional development and autonomy (see Box 2).  In view of the unexpected clamor for the conduct of more IEC activities to increase the awareness of Cordillerans on regional development and autonomy and on the Agenda itself, as well as provide a feedback mechanism for various sectors on how the RDC should proceed, the RDC is once again in the process of refining the Agenda work program for 2009 and 2010 to include more IEC activities.  Meanwhile, most of the partner agencies and LGUs involved in the capacitation phase of the Agenda have jumpstarted implementation of  their respective PPAs.  Preparing CAR for regional autonomy ought to and must be made a continuing concern of all government institutions and functionaries in the region.  This objective shall be incorporated in the various PPAs of the Regional Development and Autonomy Agenda.

 

It is expected that between May and June 2009, the RDC will prepare a second Progress Report that will include a budget proposal to cover the 2010 and beyond activities of the Agenda.  *Marie Olga S. Difuntorum, NEDA-CAR  (For more details, please visit our website at www.cordillera.gov.ph)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOX 1

THE RDC-CAR AGENDA ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND AUTONOMY 2008-2010

 

Program Thrust/Key Result Area

Program Thrust Objectives

PROGRAM THRUST 1:   Information, education and communication (IEC)

 

Target Groups:

 

1.       General Public

2.       Youth and Academe

3.       Government Functionaries

4.       Alternative Multi-Sectoral Groups

4.1              Indigenous Peoples/Indigenous Cultural Communities (IP/ICC) structures and mechanisms

4.2              Established community aggrupations and mechanisms

  • To better inform and deepen the understanding of people on teh autonomy issue.

 

  • To gather inputs and feedback for RDC study and action including the possible drafting of a third Organic Act.

PROGRAM THRUST 2:  Capacitation and phasing-in of prospective regional autonomy implementors and enablers

 

1.   Regional-LGU-Communities

      Structure/Constitency Building and

      Linkaging

2.   Direct Beneficiary Capability Building

3.   Autonomy-Related Human Resources

      Development (Adminsitrative and

      Technical)

4.   Autonomy Development Strategizing and

      PPA Formulation and Implementation 

5.   Physical and Administrative Capacitation

  • To develop and strengthen the capacities of teh RDC and its partners in the RLAs, LGUs, SUCs, private sector leading to teh region to assume the 8-plus to-be-devolved areas of regional autonomous governance.

 

  • To mainstream to-be-devolved functions and responsibilities per Art. 10, sec. 20 in CAR RLAs and LGUs and private sector as appropriate.

PROGRAM THRUST 3:  Program management and Continuing engagement with Malacañang, NGAs and Congress

 

1.   Benchmarking and Monitoring and

      Evaluation System Structure and

      Procedures

2.   Regional Autonomy Development Program

      Coordination and Management

3.   Research, Policy Review and Formulation

      and Continuous Regional-Local Actions

      Towards Regional Autonomy

4.   Continuing Engagement with Malacañang,

      NGAs and Congress

  • To broaden, deepen and strengthen the baseline situational analysis by benchmarking the region’s capacity in the 8-plus areas of regional autonomous governance.

 

  • To set up the monitoring and evaluation system to track the progress of the region in assuming the 8-plus areas of regional autonomous governance, and assess the effectiveness of RDC interventions.

 

  • To progressively decentralize from NGAs to CAR RLAs and LGUs in preparation for regional autonomy devolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOX 2

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS (As of December 2008)

 

PROGRAM THRUST 1:  Information, education and communication

IEC for the General Public

Conduct of 2 public forums (Kapihan launching IEC on Autonomy; Reverse press conference “Shoe on the Other Foot”); adoption and dissemination of the Q&A brochure on regional development and autonomy; conduct of training for ASGIOCO members and PIOs; deployment and launching of the RDC website www.cordillera.gov.ph

IEC for Youth and Academe

Preparation of 3 Lesson Guides for elemenatry and secondary levels (Grades 4-6 and 1st-4th year level); lecture modules for collegiate levels also prepared

IEC for Government Functionaries

Conduct of 1 forum with 207 participants from 26 RLAs; conduct of Agenda briefing for SP Benguet

IEC for Alternative Multi-Sectoral Groups

Training and federation of councils of elders/leaders for 10 Tinguian towns; conduct of Ifugao Land Summit, Mt. Province PEC Assembly; conduct of forum/briefings for other sepcial groups/sectors

PROGRAM THRUST 2:  Capacitation and phasing-in of prospective regional autonomy implementors and enablers

Direct Beneficiary Capability Building

Conduct of trainings on: (1) Enhancing Fiscal Administration using GIS; (2) Capacity Program on Economic Diplomacy and (3) Institutional Capacity on Project Development; Organization of 6 Municipal Coffee Councils in Benguet (under OPA project for coffee farmers)

Autonomy Development Strategizing and PPA Formulation and Implementation

9 Key Focus Area projects jumpstarted with 2 remaining still to be downloaded

PROGRAM THRUST 3:  Program management and Continuing engagement with Malacañang, NGAs and Congress

Benchmarking and Monitoring and Evaluation System Structure and Procedures

Preparation of the coneptual and statistical frameworks (to guide prepation of the Benchmarking Report)

Regional Autonomy Development program Coordination adn Management

Continuing monitoring of Agenda implementation

Research, Policy Review and Formulation and Continuous Regional-Local Actions Towards Regional Autonomy

No researches undertaken (submitted proposals were beyond set parameters)

Continuing engagement with Malacañang, NGAs and Congress

Conduct of RDC AdCom with Cordillera Congressmen; Inclusion of Agenda budget in the 2009 NEP and subsequently in the 2009 GAA