Partners Assembly and Capability Building – Cordillera autonomy partners gather for a two-day assembly to discuss future plans and strategies towards the realization of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera.

Cordillera autonomy advocates, speakers and project partners were gathered for a two-day virtual assembly on April 13-14, 2021 to be updated on the Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR) program’s 2020 accomplishments, re-assess the program’s communication plan and be capacitated on advocating through digital platforms.

RDC-CAR Acting Vice Chair and NEDA-CAR OIC-Regional Director Stephanie Christiansen opened the program recognizing the resilience of the partners and their willingness to continue advocating for the region’s pursuit of autonomy even in this pandemic. She presented the program’s accomplishments in 2020. Last year, the SPCAR program had to shift its activities from face-to-face to a blended modality to adapt to the new normal.

Baguio City Congressman Mark Go, chair of the Committee on Local Government-Technical Working Group (CLG-TWG) on House Bill 5687 and 7778, was the guest speaker for the first day of the event. He gave updates on the status of the house bills and findings of the TWG on certain provisions of the bills. After discussions with the partners, it was agreed that a workshop shall be conducted after the next CLG-TWG meeting to consolidate inputs in addressing issues on the provisions. “I want this bill to be approved before the end of this 18th Congress”, he added.

The SPCAR Communication Plan was also presented to the partners to solicit recommendations to fine tune it considering the new normal and to further the program’s reach in advocating for Cordillera autonomy. Effective utilization of the online platform was highlighted keeping the current situation in mind.

The second day of the assembly was dedicated to capacitating the partners with Ms. Ma. Lourdes Tiquia, CEO of Publicus Asia Inc., as the resource speaker. She provided practical wisdom on, “Building Your Digital Ecosystem”.  Ms. Tiquia shared her insights on the current status of social media advocacy, providing useful tips and strategies on how to advance information dissemination and gain public support for autonomy virtually. Another activity will be set with Ms. Tiquia to further ramp up the online presence and advocacy for regional autonomy.