BAGUIO CITY – President Benigno Aquino III has declared July 15 as a special non-working holiday in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in celebration of its 28th founding anniversary as a special administrative region.
“It is but fitting and proper that the people of CAR be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” reads Proclamation 1056 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.
CAR was created thru Executive Order 220 signed by President Corazon Aquino on July 15, 1987 mergeing the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province and Baguio City from Region I and the provinces of Kalinga, Ifugao and Apayao from Region II.
This year’s celebration of the Cordillera Day will be hosted by the province of Apayao with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as head of Regional Development Council’s Environment and Watershed Management Sectoral Committee as the lead agenc
This year’s theme is “Conserving the Environment Towards a Greener Cordillera.”
The opening program of the 28th Cordillera Day will be on July 9 in Luna, Apayao. This will also be the kick off for the Cordillera Unity Gong Relay. Now on its fourth year, the ‘unity gong’ symbolizing the united pursuit of regional autonomy in the Cordillera, will be travel to the five other provinces and two cities in the region then back to Apayao.
As part of this year’s unity gong relay, a symbolic tree will be planted in each of the province.
Series of activities and events will also be conducted in the province of Apayao and in the other provinces in the region which includes the eco-tour of the tourism potentials of Apayao, the conduct of a agri-trade fair, technology and job fair, biodiversity and environmental forums and the public consultation on the proposed House Bill 4649 or An Act Creating the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
The week-long celebration will culminate on July 15 in Luna, Apayao, with Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, a supporter of the Cordillera autonomy, as the guest of honor and speaker.
By Redjie Melvic Cawis