November 28, 2022

BAUKO, Mountain Province – 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 Acting Chair Susan Sumbeling shared this during the 36th commemoration of the signing of the Mt. Data Peace Accord on Sept. 13 at the Mt. Data Hotel.

The RDC commissioned a biennial survey to assess Cordillerans’ awareness, understanding, and support for the regional advocacy.

Sumbeling said preliminary data from the survey shows awareness and potential “yes” votes for autonomy have increased every year since 2015.

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

Sumbeling said they have been conducting various initiatives to further promote autonomy including information education campaigns to the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas and engaging the youth to increase 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 said 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 sipat will highlight the Cordillera’s pursuit and advancement of regional autonomy,” Sumbeling said.

The seven lawmakers from the Cordillera refiled the autonomy bill in the 19th Congress. The creation of autonomous region in the Cordillera and in Muslim Mindanao is provided for under the 1987 Constitution. – Debbie E. Gasingan