Barangay officials and women of Sacasacan welcome the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) through an intermission number of song which they composed.

SACASACAN, Sadanga, Mountain Province – Barangay officials, teachers, senior citizens, women and police officers gathered to participate in an information drive on autonomy initiated by the Sadanga Environmental and Cultural Care Association (SECAI) Inc. last February 28, 2018.

Autonomy IEC Speaker Gary A. Pekas, discussed the basic concepts, core messages, historical background of regional autonomy and some key provisions of the House Bill 5343 “An Act Establishing the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera”.

Emphasizing further on the core messages specifically on the “responsive policies for the Cordillera”, Pekas cited the difficulty in the accessibility of some of the barangays in Sadanga due to lack of infrastructure development especially farm-to-market roads. This can be addressed through laws that are responsive to the needs of the Cordillera people. He also pointed out the potential of Sacasacan as an eco-cultural tourism site and the production of heirloom rice, among others.

When these potentials are developed, these will contribute to the income of the barangay and of the municipality of Sadanga. This will also benefit other barangays which are accessible only through hours of walking and hiking along steep and narrow pathways up to this time.

Towards the end of the activity, the participants were asked if they are for autonomy to which they raised their hands and answered enthusiastically with a resounding “YES”. A Statement of Support to the establishment of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera was also signed by around 108 participants.

Punong Barangay Mr. William Chopchopen and IPMR Representative Mr. Laurence Farong-ey expressed their support to the autonomy advocacy and hope for similar activities in the five remaining barangays of Sadanga.

Sacasacan is one of the eight barangays of Sadanga, located at the top of the mountain overlooking Barangay Poblacion and Demang. During the Spanish regime, it was the seat of government until it was transferred to Poblacion when the Americans took over. It is home to 614 inhabitants whose main source of income and livelihood is subsistence farming, wine made of sugar cane juice locally known as bayas, other small-scale enterprises and business establishments.

A similar barangay-level IEC is slated in the other provinces of CAR which will be led by the local government units (LGUs) in partnership with the RDC-CAR and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR). (Zenia P. Cadiogan, NEDA- SPCAR)