III.      The Cordillera Agenda for Regional Autonomy

The Strategic Framework

The RDC adopts a strategic planning framework in pursuing the new Cordillera Agenda for Regional Autonomy as shown in the following figure. The strategic approach is goals-based that commences with knowing the desired destination, proceeds to determining strategies on how to get there following an appreciation of the current situation and establishing a system to track progress.

1.  Where do we want to go?

  • An autonomous Cordillera Region, the configuration of which to be defined through a deliberate discernment process

2. Where are we now?

  • Not yet an autonomous region but in a preparatory mode (E.O. 220 created CAR)

  • Experienced two failed attempts to establish an autonomous region in 1990 and 1998;

  • RDC-CAR recently granted P15 Million to jumpstart renewed regional autonomy preparation activities;

  • Further situation analysis to be conducted through Basic surveys and research not hitherto officially undertaken for lack of budget; the P15 Million budget removes the excuse

3.  How do we get to the desired destination?

  • By preparing the populace to vote favorably when a third organic act shall have been enacted by Congress and subjected to ratification in plebiscite. For 2007, this comes in the form of:

    • surveys that will surface the true sentiments of the Cordillera people on regional autonomy with a reflection on the two failed plebiscites;

    • policy researches on aspects related to regional autonomy such as: capitalizing on natural resources to boost fiscal capability and position; models of autonomous governance, indigenous governance in CAR and the Cordillera quest for autonomy; the validity of E.O. 220 viz. other relevant laws; indigenous knowledge, systems and sustainable practices for sustainable resource and development management; and

    • region-wide consultations that will surface the inclinations of leaders and the people in general on several discussion points that would direct subsequent actions for the autonomy agenda.

  • By capacitating the regional development coordinating body and the CAR component local government units to develop capability to exercise corporate powers and demonstrate fiscal autonomy especially in showing credible revenue generating ability outside of tax imposition.

  • For 2007, activities will be in the form of training programs that would boost the competencies of the regional coordinating body and the local government units on economic diplomacy, project development, revenue generation and product packaging.

4.       How do we know that we are proceeding properly?

  • Monitoring and evaluation

  • Repeat tracking surveys