BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) approved a resolution endorsing the acceptance of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples – Cordillera Administrative Region (NCIP-CAR) regional director as chairperson of the Committee on Indigenous Peoples Concerns of the region’s policy-making body and as a regular member of the RDC en banc.
The RDC-CAR Executive Committee Resolution No. 031, series 2003 created and organized a special sectoral committee on indigenous peoples’ concerns (CIPC) in the Cordillera in order to give utmost attention to the promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples and it shall be chaired by the NCIP-CAR.
NCIP en banc Resolution No. A-002, series of 2011 declared that the NCIP shall be represented in all RDCs in order to uphold equal access to representation in the local planning policy-making bodies and further designated the ethnographic Regional Commissioners and Regional Directors as principal and alternate representatives, respectively, of the NCIP in the RDCs in the different parts of the country.
It was learned that Commissioner Basilio Wandag, the newly appointed Regional Commissioner for Region I and CAR, waived to lead the CIPC in the Cordillera and allowed the CIPC to decide on who among its members will be the permanent chairperson of the special committee.
The CIPC during its meeting on May 13, 2016, elected NCIP-CAR Regional Director Ronald P. Calde as its chairperson to allow the smooth disposition of all issues and concerns relating to the promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities in the different parts of the region, and to allow the implementation of programs and projects to enhance the welfare of indigenous peoples in the different provinces.
At the same time, the RDC-CAR en banc decided to accept the NCIP-CAR Regional Director as a regular member of the region’s policy-making body in lieu of the ethnolingustic Regional Commissioners after Commissioner Wandag waived his right of being a regular member of the RDC-CAR.
Since 2011, it was the NICP Regional Commissioner that had been representing the agency in all programs and activities undertaken by the RDC-CAR, especially in the renewed pursuit for regional autonomy which has been adopted by the RDC-CAR as its overarching agenda in order to fastrack the development of the region.
One of the priority initiatives of the RDC-CAR is for the advancement of the rights and welfare of indigenous people and indigenous cultural communities in the different parts of the region pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) considering that the Cordillera is dominated by indigenous peoples who are located in the different provinces comprising the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).