CARAD did it-A A +A
By Benny Balweg
Saturday, March 5, 2011
THE Cordillera Alliance for Autonomy and Development (CARAD), Inc., showed last March 26, 2011, what unity and determination can do. Not even the rigors of distances and limited funds deterred representatives chosen and sent by the varied sectors of CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region) to Baguio for the purpose of choosing one in interim capacity to head the Cordillera Regional Assembly (CRA) in order for it to be fully functional once more. The CRA, to recall, was long dormant due to luck of budgetary funds and the demise of its Chairman, the late Any. Sergio Kawi.
Since that day, the reinvigorated CRA, led by now its Interim Chairman, Ifugao Elder Jack Dulnuan, started work without much fanfare. Its aim is to see to it that the Cordillera Bodies, CRA and CEB with its CBAd Commission, restart doing their mandated jobs now that the information campaign for a third organic act and subsequent plebiscite are in the offing. This is now a chance for them to redeem themselves.
How ironic to think that it is the young men and women moved by no other than their undying belief and adherence to their inherited distinct cultural life and practices that are now in the forefront of the movement for autonomy! The dormancy that crept into the eyes of the first members of the CRA has become a black mark but it should not be a hindrance. It is hard to swallow why budget should be a conditio sine qua non for work. For the young once, it seems budget first in order to attain autonomy; for the young ones, go to autonomy in order to have some more substantial to budget and budget in a way that assures true social development.
Many a Cordilleran are heard to remark that patience may be reaching a terminal point but it would better be that that should not happen. The Good Book says, "in your patience, you shall possess the land." It says "shall", not merely "will". Hence, an assurance, not merely description, of a future event. You see, it is a blessing that the "no" vote won in the past plebiscites for a "yes" vote would have divided us geographically into autonomous and non-autonomous areas. We prefer to stay together in one Cordillera region. A third plebiscite should assure our staying together in a resounding yes for autonomy. But this is the crux: "but", that is, the contents of the Organic Act should come from us, not imposed on us, for the taste may not please our palates again. In the past, failures followed after the imposition of deadlines upon deadlines. That should not happen again, CARAD urgently advises. Hence, its insistence on the inductive method as regards conduct of the IEC and the production of the proposed OA. "People will not reject what comes from them," Kiaki says. On the other hand, for others, particularly Mayor Domogan of Baguio City, time is of the essence. "Let's beat the coming of politics in 1013," he warns.
So, there we are. Shall we still trek the top-down or the bottoms-up? Members of the Cordillera Bodies, CRA, CEB, come forward, show yourselves now. Show the best way to a legacy. If you have not imbibed the volunteerism of the new young, go to BARP and learn from the mouth and hands of imaging mentor Fedrico A. Balanag. He is always there. The rains do not drive him, he drives the rains away.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 06, 2011.