The Committee on Indigenous Peoples’ Concerns (CIPC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) reviewed the culture chapter of the Cordillera Regional Development Plan 2023-2028 during its first quarter meeting on February 10, 2023. This contains the development goal of promoting culture-sensitive governance and development taking account of the unique culture and heritage of the region and its sustained efforts toward regional autonomy.
The assessment report shows an increased number of local government units (LGUs) with local cultural inventory, established schools of living traditions (SLT), and improved documentation of indigenous knowledge systems and practices (IKSP), among others. As of 2021, 66 out of 79 LGUs have established their Local Culture and Arts Council (LCAC). These contributed to the promotion and protection of the region’s local culture and values.
An increase in the number of LGUs with Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) as members of the legislative bodies at the local level was also noted. A total of 746 LGUs or 73 percent have IPMRs based on recent data from the Cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. This representation is a mechanism provided under the IPRA law which ensures the right of the IPs to fully participate at all levels of decision-making.
For the next six years, the advocacy for regional autonomy shall be pursued further as a strategy for strengthening culture-sensitive development and governance.
The region shall continue to promote awareness of the diverse culture of the Cordillera including establishing and sustaining SLTs. This shall ensure the transfer of indigenous knowledge from the knowledge holders to the younger generation through dance, chants, and other indigenous technologies.
On the SLTs, Private Sector Representative (PSR) Paulino Tumapang noted that the targeted number of graduates at the end of the planning period is relatively low, ranging from 75 in 2023 to 255 by 2028. He said that the target may be increased, which was welcomed by Ms. Millet Cue of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
The Cordillera office of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR-CAR) Dir. Romel Daguimol requested Cue to provide the Committee with the inventory of SLTs for monitoring and marketing purposes.
The Committee also reviewed the proposed prioritization criteria in preparation of the Regional Investment Development Program (RDIP) 2023-2028 and the proposed 36th Cordillera Month activities. It also finalized its 2023 work and financial plan.
Only the RDC-CAR has a Committee on Indigenous Peoples which was created in 2003 recognizing the region as being highly populated by IPs along with its socio-cultural attributes and history. Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. serves as the Committee Chair with NEDA-CAR Dir. Susan A. Sumbeling as its Vice-Chair. By DRD NEDA-CAR