The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) started 2018 with the RDC and Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR) Assessment and Planning Workshop.  This was held on 24 January at the Citylight Hotel in Baguio City.

Setting the tone of the workshop was the message of the RDC Chairman and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan who explained that the workshop was an opportunity to review the RDC’s accomplishments, thank those who were instrumental in their attainment, and prepare for an even more productive 2018.

The RDC and SPCAR’s 2017 accomplishments were presented by RDC-CAR Vice-Chair and NEDA-CAR Director Milagros Rimando.  She highlighted the most significant RDC accomplishments, among which are the finalization and adoption of the Cordillera Regional Development Plan and Regional Development Investment Program 2017-2022; the successful celebration of the 30th Cordillera Month; and the continuing efforts of the RDC to advocate regional autonomy to national  regional and local officials,  and stakeholders from all sectors of society.

This was followed by a workshop in which the Council’s six sectoral committees (Development Administration, Economic Development, Environment and Watershed, Social Development, Infrastructure Development, and Indigenous Peoples’ Concerns), and five  support committees  (Regional Statistics Committee or RSC, Regional Gender and Development Committee or RGADC, Regional Land Use Committee or RLUC, Regional Development Budget Coordinating Committee or RDBCC and the Regional Project Monitoring Committee or RPMC)  discussed and identified their priority programs and activities for 2018.  The workshop results were presented to the body by the committees’ respective chairpersons.

In the Open Forum that followed, various development issues were raised.  One was the possible impact of the North Quad initiatives to the RDC’s pursuit of autonomy.  The RDC Chairman responded that the North Quad was created to harmonize the regional line agencies’ efforts to develop the northern regions and has no negative impact whatsoever on the region’s pursuit for self-determination.

Other issues raised were whether or not to legalize small-scale mining in the region’s watersheds; the need for updates on the management of the Chico River and other major rivers of the region; and the importance of mainstreaming GAD in the activities of the RDC.  These issues and concerns were referred to the appropriate sectoral or support committee for study.

A business meeting, presided by the RDC Chairman, immediately followed the workshop. The proposed RDC 2018 Work and Financial Plan which was unanimously approved by the body, together with the SPCAR List of Projects for 2018.