The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will be celebrating its 28th foundation anniversary this July 15, Wednesday. The theme for this year’s festivities is “Conserving the Environment Towards a Greener Cordillera.”
The day is a special non-working holiday in all provinces under the region through President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation 1056, which Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on his behalf. Check this article from the Philippine Information Agency for more on this proclamation.
There are six provinces under CAR: Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mt. Province plus the chartered city of Baguio. As The Filipino Scribe reported previously, the region was created in compliance with Executive Order 220, which was signed by President Corazon Aquino on July 15, 1987.
The province of Apayao will serve as the host for this year’s celebration of Cordillera Day. The opening program of the 28th Cordillera Day will be on July 9 in the municipality of Luna.
The highlight of this event is the start of the so-called Cordillera Unity Gong Relay. Started in 2012, the ‘unity gong’ will travel to CAR’s six provinces and the cities of Baguio and Tabuk.
Just like in many parts of the Philippines, the Cordillera region experienced heightened insurgent activity during the 1970s and 1980s. Upon the removal from power of Ferdinand Marcos, the main secessionist group, the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army, decided to instead engage in negotiations with the administration of President Aquino.
Last year, several House solons from the region filed a bill proposing the creation of a Cordillera Autonomous Region, in the mold of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. However, with just ten months to go before the next elections, the bill is not likely to go any further.