Yes to autonomy increasing since 2015, surveys say


BAUKO, Mountain  Province  — The Cordillerans’ overall awareness and potential “yes” votes for autonomy increased every year since 2015, the 2021 Pulse Survey shows.

       National Economic and Development Authority – Cordillera Director and Regional Development Council – Cordillera (RDC-CAR) Acting Chairperson Susan Sumbeling bared during the 36th Commemoration of the Mt. Data Peace Accord on September 13, 2022 at the historic Mt.  Data Hotel.

       “The RDC commissioned a biennial survey to assess the pulse of the Cordillerans in terms of their awareness, understanding and support for the regional advocacy. The preliminary data from the 2021 Pulse Survey shows that Cordillerans’ overall awareness and potential “yes” votes for autonomy have increased every year since 2015,” Sumbeling disclosed.

       This is a manifestation of the continuous efforts of the Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR) to attain autonomy.

        Sumbeling said that they have been conducting various initiatives to further promote autonomy, including information education campaigns in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, and engaging the youth to further the reach of the campaign.

       Unique this year is the engagement of the youth ambassadors for Cordillera autonomy, mobilizing the influence of the youth in further extending the reach of the advocacy to the younger generation, she said.

        “We remain steadfast in stirring the SPCAR in collaboration with all regional autonomy stakeholders, both government and private, upstream and downstream, from the public sector, the private, as well as our civil society,” Sumbeling added.

       She also underlined that peace and development are deeply connected issues that can be better addressed with the establishment of an autonomous Cordillera.

        “We reflect on the success that the peace pact brought to the region. We hope that the commemoration of the historic Sipat will highlight the Cordillera’s pursuit and advancement of regional autonomy,” Sumbeling said.

        Recently, the seven lawmakers from the Cordillera refiled the autonomy bill in the 19th Congress.

        The creation of autonomous regions in the Cordillera and in Muslim Mindanao is provided for under the 1987 Constitution. Mindanao as an autonomous region has already been established, and is now called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). – JDP/DEG-PIA CAR 

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