IPRA Day. The men and women of BFP - CAR in their Cordillera attire during the RDC - CAR led IPRA at 22 parade and program Friday.(Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

Mr. and Ms HRAB 2019. Ezekiel Garth (4th from left) and Patricia Louis Ofracio (5th from left), both from the University of Baguio, winning the 2019 Mr. and Ms. Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) during the coronation night at the Baguio Country Club, Oct. 7. Leading the coronation of the winners were Mayor Benjamin Magalong (2nd from left) and wife Arlene (3rd from left), City Council Committee on Tourism chairperson Elaine Sembrano (2nd from right) and celebrity judge Jonas Gaffud (right) of the Ms. Universe Organization. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

IPRA Day. Contingents from Mountain Province, in their Cultural presentation during the RDC - CAR led IPRA Day Program at PFVR Gym, Friday. Kalinga Congressman and House Committee on IP Community and Indigenous People people chairAllen Jesse Mangaoang and NCIP Commissioner NTF - ELCAC Executive Director Allen Capuyan were the invited guests speakers during the event. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

IPRA@22. RDC - CAR officials and key stakeholders join Kalinga Congressman and House Committee on IP Community and Indigenous People people chair Allen Jesse Mangaoang and NCIP chairperson and NTF - ELCAC Executive Director Allen Capuyan in a photo opt during the IPRA Day Anniversary Program at PFVR Gym, Friday. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

Mr and Ms. HRAB 2019. Ezekiel Garth (5th from left) and Patricia Louis Ofracio (6th from left), both from the University of Baguio, winning the 2019 Mr. and Ms. Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) during the coronation night at the Baguio Country Club. Runner - ups were: Millard Saguitan (1st - UB), Bryan Paul Semira (2nd - UC), Ervine Wemark (3rd - UC) and Dustin Kyle Rosario (4th - UCU); while for female: Mary Jennifer Molotov (1st - UC), Silavame Clemenia (2nd - UB), Justine Mae Unable (3rd - SLU) and Kryss Angel De Guzman (4th - UC). (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

15th HRT Week. The 15th Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism (HRT) Week of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio formally opens Thursday, October 10at the Baguio Country Club with the ribbon cutting led by (left to right) Philippine Association of Hotels and Restaurants President Eugene Yap, HRAB Pres. Anthony De Leon, Beauty Queen Shamcey Supsup, Councilor Elaine Zambrano, DOT - CAR OIC Regional Director Jovy Ganongan and City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Peña. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

15th HRT Week. Competitors in the professional category puts on the final touches in their entry in the wedding cake competition of HRAB's 15th Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Week at the Baguio Country Club. The 3 - day event gathers 17 establishments and 26 academic institutions from various parts of the country for the hospitality and culinary competitions in th professional and student category, respectively. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

15th HRT Week. Judges in the wedding cake competitions checking the entries HRAB's 15th Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Week at the Baguio Country Club. The 3 - day event gathers 17 establishments and 26 academic institutions from various parts of the country for the hospitality and culinary competitions in th professional and student category, respectively. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

15th HRT Week. Student competitors in the fruit carving competition - student category of HRAB's 15th Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Week at the Baguio Country Club. The 3 - day event gathers 17 establishments and 26 academic institutions from various parts of the country for the hospitality and culinary competitions in th professional and student category, respectively. (Lito Dar/PIA CAR)

After 33 years, Cordillera autonomy remains elusive

BAGUIO CITY—Friday the 13th this week commemorated the end of a war waged against the government by former rebel priest Conrado Balweg and his militia group 33 years ago.

 

On Sept. 13, 1986, at Mt. Data in Mountain Province, Balweg and then President Corazon Aquino exchanged tokens to forge a “sipat,” a term for cessation of hostilities for what was the first peace talks undertaken after the People Power Revolt ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Balweg handed Aquino an automatic rifle and accepted a rosary and a Bible from her. It led to peace negotiations that were concluded 25 years later in 2011 by Aquino’s son, former President Benigno Aquino III

The talks also led to the creation of the interim Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in 1987.

Balweg led the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA), a militia that broke away from the communist New People’s Army (NPA). CPLA had officially disbanded under a closure agreement signed on July 4, 2011.

The sipat meant “an end to war,” Mayor Gabino Ganggangan of Sabangan town, Mountain Province, said at a news briefing on Thursday.

To illustrate the impact which the sipat had on peace and order at the time, Ganggangan said losing the CPLA crippled the NPA in the Cordillera for years.

Balweg left the priesthood to join the NPA in 1979 after the murder of Kalinga elder Macli-ing Dulag, who opposed Marcos’ projects that would exploit resources of indigenous peoples such as the proposed Chico River Dam in Kalinga province.

Ganggangan served as a close aide of Balweg, who was assassinated on New Year’s eve in 1999. Had he lived, Balweg would not be happy about the government’s unfulfilled promise to create an autonomous government for six Cordillera provinces after decades of neglect, he said.

A new measure creating a Cordillera autonomous region had been drafted by regional elders and transmitted to Congress in August, after previous measures failed to draw national support.

Third autonomy law

Regional leaders tried to pass a third autonomy law, after two previous organic acts were rejected in plebiscites in 1990 and 1998. A counterpart law in 1989 formed the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which was replaced this year by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Any president can dissolve CAR, which was formed through Executive Order No. 220 by Aquino a year after the sipat, according to Virgilio Bautista, former cochair of the Regional Development Council.

“I am not saying there are plans to break up CAR,” Bautista said, but pockets of resistance continue to exist in parts of the Cordillera because the government has not fulfilled some of its commitments made in the sipat such as granting the region full control and management of its natural resources.

Because of a doctrine that the state owns all lands and resources, the development of the mines and exploitation of Cordillera rivers were dictated by Manila, Ganggangan said, adding that this “made the national capital richer and the Cordillera poorer.”

Inalienable

On top of that, many Cordillera residents have no titles to their lands because of a provision in the forestry code, which renders all lands with 18-degree slopes as inalienable, Bautista said.

Only Baguio City and Benguet province, which hosted the first gold mines and which now serves as a major salad vegetable producer, are exempt from this prohibition.

Cordillera, with 1.7 million dwellers, remains one of the country’s least populated and poorest regions, and has been entitled to much smaller budgets.

“Senators and congressmen must visit towns like Sabangan to understand why we strive for budgets that would convert our abortion roads into productive roads,” Bautista said.

He said the region’s leaders are hoping that Congress would pass the third Cordillera autonomy law, given the passage of the Bangsamoro organic law (BOL), which grants powers to the Muslim region for managing their resources.

“I told them maybe we can just simply adopt [the] BOL and change certain provisions to suit the Cordillera,” Bautista said.

He added: “But it needs to be passed this year to give Congress time to fund the plebiscite before attention shifts to the next presidential elections.”

By: Vincent Cabreza - Reporter / @Inquirer_Baguio

 

Baguio

  • Senior citizens run gov't offices for a day in Baguio, Benguet

     BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 11 (PIA) -- Elderly citizens took over the management of the different government offices in Baguio City and Benguet  on October 7  as part of the 2019 Elderly Filipino Week celebration.

  • Cordillerans gather for 7th Gong Festival

    BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 18 (PIA) -- Thousands of indigenous people from the Cordillera provinces gathered to celebrate the seventh staging of the Gong Festival over the weekend.

  • PIA Cordillera SCOFAD is a retired teacher

    BAGUIO CITY, Oct. (PIA) -- Every year in October, senior citizens are given a day to run the affairs of the local government unit and national government agencies in celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week. 

  • Consumernet conducts market monitoring

    BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 18 (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CAR) spearheaded the inter-agency monitoring of basic necessities and prime commodities     at the city public market last October 11.

  • Cordillera cops psychologically stable

    MEMBERS of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Cordillera are psychologically stable.

Benguet

  • Team Rubicon Australia shares disaster response expertise in CAR

    LA TRINIDAD Benguet, Oct. 18 (PIA) - - Team Rubicon Australia, in partnership with the Office of Civil Defense(OCD) and the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management offices of the province of Benguet and the City Government of Baguio, conducted  a four – day Rapid Damage Assessment Needs Analysis (RDANA) training of trainers at the Strawberry Valley Hotel, here.

  • Benguet holds 10th Coop Convention

    LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Oct. 18 (PIA) - - The 10th Cooperative Convention will highlight the  celebration of Cooperative Month in the province.

  • Benguet's ban on live pigs, pork products still in effect

    LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Oct. 18(PIA) - - The provincial government maintains the ban on  the entry of live pigs, fresh and frozen pork and pork products into the province  as African Swine Fever (ASF)- affected areas  now  include Pangasinan.

  • PSA to consider Benguet as pilot area for new ID system

    LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Oct. 11 (PIA) -- The Philippine Statistics Authority is reconsidering the province of Benguet as part of the pilot areas for the new national ID system of the country.

  • Benguet PPO gives incentives to best performing police stations

    LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Oct. 11(PIA) - - In boosting police efforts and workings, the Police Provincial Office (PPO) will  give incentives to municipal police offices with laudable performance each month.

Mt. Province

  • DOH-CAR starts feeding program for undernourished kids,pregnant women

    PARACELIS, Mountain Province, Sept. 26 (PIA) -- The Department of Health Center of Health Development (DOH-CHD) Cordillera under its Nutrition Program started a feeding program for nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women and undernourished under-five children in nine barangays in this town.

  • CSC explains Ease of Doing Business Act to gov’t workers

    BONTOC, Mountain Province, Sept. 26 (PIA) -- Public servants in the province are one with the nation’s government  bureaucracy  in celebrating 119th anniversary of the Philippine Civil Service this September with various activities.

  • DOH-CAR starts feeding program for undernourished kids,pregnant women

    PARACELIS, Mountain Province, Sept. 26 (PIA) -- The Department of Health Center of Health Development (DOH-CHD) Cordillera under its Nutrition Program started a feeding program for nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women and undernourished under-five children in nine barangays in this town.

  • Mt. Province youth celebrate Linggo ng Kabataan

    BONTOC, Mountain Province, Aug. 31(PIA) -- Sangguniang Kabataan(SK) members  in the province celebrated the Linggo ng Kabataan with various activities actively participated by out-of-school youth, in-school youth and working youth of the different municipalities in the province.

  • Bauko councilor heads PCL Mt. Province Chapter

    BONTOC, Mountain Province, Aug. 31 (PIA) -- Councilor Ashley T. Sili from the municipality of Bauko heads the new set of officers of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL)-Mountain Province Chapter

IFUGAO

  • Road clearing order boosts Ifugao town ordinance

    KIANGAN, Ifugao, Oct. 17(PIA)- - The road clearing order by the national government to the local government units  in the entire country strengthened the enforcement of a municipal ordinance of this town  providing for road safety policies.

  • ASF taskforce organized in Ifugao town

    AGUINALDO, Ifugao, Oct. 18 (PIA) - - Mayor Gaspar Chilagan Jr. of this town has ordered the creation of the Aguinaldo Quarantine Task Force against African Swine Fever (ASF)  thru  Executive Order No 2019-21 to ensure food safety and security.

  • DILG-CAR praises Ifugao for setting Legislators’ Day

    LAGAWE, Ifugao, Oct. 18 (PIA) - - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Cordillera lauded the province’s officials  for setting and celebrating local Legislators’ Day.

  • Build high trust for public service, gov't workers urged

    LAGAWE, Ifugao Oct. 7 (PIA) - - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) in the province encouraged government workers to build  high trust  for public service for the benefit of people  and nation as a whole.

  • Ifugao health workers step up immunization drive

    LAGAWE, Ifugao, Oct. 3 (PIA)- -Health workers  in  the province led by their respective municipal health officers are exerting relentless efforts in conducting aggressive information and education campaign (IEC) to convince the people to let their children be immunized to protect them from  vaccine- preventable diseases.

celogo

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