With the undying issues of regional autonomy and the current state of indigenous socio political structures in the region, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) in collaboration with the Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges (CARASUC), University of the Philippines Baguio, and the Regional Development Council through the National Economic Development Authority-CAR collaborated on two major activities to tackle these issues.
On August 29-30, 2016, a Cordillera Elders Workshop on Regional Autonomy will be conducted at the Gladiola Hall, Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet. This collaborative effort of the organizers aim to generate the views and recommendations of the indigenous elders and indigenous peoples mandatory representatives (IPMRs) on critical issues associated with regional autonomy and federalism which is being pushed by the Duterte administration. Their views and recommendations will contribute significantly in understanding how local autonomy is being practiced, asserted and defended by indigenous peoples, and how these can contribute towards building genuine regional autonomy in the Cordillera.
Specifically, the workshop will look into the following: a) Persistence and/or disintegration of traditional governance systems in relation to self-identity and ancestral territory; free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), conflict resolution; b) Identification of mechanisms for the continuing participation of elders in understanding, framing and building regional autonomy in the Cordillera and federalism.
On August 31st, the Multitakeholders Consultation on Regional Autonomy and Federalism will take place still at the Benguet State University, and is aimed at providing space for various stakeholders to share their experiences on their advocacy of Cordillera Regional Autonomy and to draw lessons from these experiences; to situate the Cordillera Regional Autonomy discourse within the Duterte Administration’s program for federalism and the peace talks, and finally, to come up with resolutions and recommendations on these developments. ***