February 6, 2023

The long-time quest for an autonomous Cordillera will be realized as long as unity among the leaders and people from the various provinces is sustained.
Agriculture Sec. William Dar underscored this in his keynote address during the 33rd Cordillera Administrative Region Day celebration on July 15 at the University of the Philippines Baguio gymnasium with the theme, “One Cordillera, embracing the new normal towards recovery.”
Dar, who is also the Cabinet officer for regional development and security for Cordillera, has urged the local chief executives and other elected leaders to practice good governance that would convince the people to support their cause in achieving an autonomous Cordillera region (ARC).
“One thing very important to highlight would be that everyone must practice good governance, be it national government, local government, even the private sector for that matter. Let’s practice good governance and this is one sure way to bring unity to the people of the Cordillera,” Dar said.
He urged officials from the barangay to the municipal, provincial and regional executives, to become role models in the community through the development programs they implement in their respective areas.
He said the past 33 years of CAR should be a learning experience for all the leaders in further leading their communities towards attaining the ARC.
Dar added the region’s quest for autonomy should not be dampened, as the current campaign has led to increased awareness of autonomy in the communities, citing a report of the National Economic Development Authority.
He congratulated local chief executives and private organizations in coming up with a united stand through resolutions supporting the creation of the ARC. 
“Autonomy is not a new concept but one that is rooted in the resilient ways of the Cordillera people,” he said.
Through the efforts of the Regional Development Council and NEDA, House Bill 5343 advanced in the 17th Congress with three Senate bills drafted by then senators Bam Aquino, JV Ejercito, and incumbent Sen. Migs Zubiri.
“I gladly support this goal and will continue to contribute in the manner proper to the CAR’s mission to the region’s progress and advancement as the region’s partner for economic development and nation-building. Let the autonomous region of the Cordillera be born,” Dar said.
He also expressed his support for the continuing development of the region, stating that the DA-CAR has various programs lined up for the region with its budget of P1.1 billion to serve the local farmers and agricultural industry in the region. – Ofelia C. Empian