By Shah Balaw-ing

The Regional Development Council (RDC) through the Department of Education (DepEd) is tapping teachers in the region as part of the RDC’s more wide-ranging information, education and communication (IEC) campaign on Cordillera regional autonomy. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), RDC secretariat said that the teachers are being tapped because of their critical role in disseminating information on regional autonomy down to the barangay level. Moreover, people look up to them and consider them as role models.

IECs for teachers were conducted in Abra, Baguio, Ifugao and Mountain Province last September 18, September 19, October 16 and October 19 respectively.

Other IEC scheduled for the remaining provinces is as follows: Apayao in November 22, Benguet in October 21, Ifugao in October 16, Kalinga in October 30.

Such IECs were intended to increase teachers’ awareness of the pursuit of Cordillera regional autonomy. The pros as well as the cons of being an autonomous region were explained.

It may be recalled that in the previous attempt to push for regional autonomy, the educators were not very supportive.  One of the concerns raised is on the capability of the region to sustain the regional line agencies (RLAs) including DepEd.

The Working draft for Cordillera Organic Act however states that the national government shall continue to provide the budgetary needs of the RLAs. An autonomous Cordillera basically shall not remove existing benefits being enjoyed by RLA employees.

With the more intensive and extensive IEC campaigns conducted, the teachers shall are expected to be credible and objective sources of information on regional autonomy.