BAGUIO CITY – Director Susanna Marcaida of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), in a courtesy call on January 25, reassured Regional Development Council Vice-chair NEDA Dir. Milagros Rimando that the autonomy advocacy remains as an OPAPP agenda. The office recently changed leadership after the courtesy resignation of Cordillera autonomy champion, former Sec. Jesus Dureza last November 2018. The new Peace Chief Ret. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. plans to reorganize the OPAPP giving attention to the Bangsamoro autonomy pursuit. However, “it doesn’t mean that we stop what we are doing for the Cordillera”, Marcaida said.
OPAPP has been a champion for Cordillera Autonomy and has been major partners of NEDA-CAR in events such as the Cordillera Indigenous Peoples’ Legislative Assembly, the Cordillera leaders’ meeting with the Senators, the Cordillera autonomy pioneers’ summit in Mt. Data Hotel, the Congressional forum on Cordillera autonomy and Federalism, and the Am-among Di Cordillera: Convergence for Cordillera autonomy which coincided with the 32nd anniversary of the Sipat peace pact between the Philippine Government and the Cordillera Peoples’ Liberation Army.
Aside from the autonomy advocacy, OPAPP continues helping conflict-affected and conflict-vulnerable areas through their various PAMANA projects. These projects led by OPAPP and done in partnership with various local government units and regional line agencies have helped the overall regional development of the region.
Dir. Rimando and Dir. Marcaida discussed plans to engage Sec. Galvez’s support in the coming months on matters of regional development, peace, and order concerns of the region The lead planning agency of the region is hopeful for the continued support of OPAPP as the region prepares for the 18th Congress, the improved Cordillera organic act, and the pursuit of regional development through autonomy.
By Marlo T. Lubguban