IN CELEBRATION of the 30th Cordillera Month, the Unity Gong will once again go around the different provinces in the Cordillera, which started Saturday, July 8, to sustain the call for regional autonomy and empowerment.
With the country chairing the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) Summits this year, the Regional Development Council (RDC) with the Philippine Information Agency will also be promoting the Asean 2017 during the caravan.
The Cordillera Unity Gong relay kicked off at the Benguet Provincial Capitol Grounds led by Governor Crescencio Pacalso.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera headed by regional director Ralph Pablo conducted a tree planting ceremony at the capitol grounds as part of the annual unity gong relay.
The DENR offices in the different provinces will also be taking the lead in the tree planting activities in their respective areas.
From Benguet, the RDC with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples led by regional director Roland Calde, who is this year’s host agency, and other line agency heads and representatives proceeded to Mountain Province.
Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan led the program in the province on July 9 before the caravan moved to Abra for turn over ceremonies to Governor Joy Bernos and Congressman Joseph Bernos.
The RDC and Abra officials then travelled to Kalinga via the newly opened Abra-Kalinga Road for the turnover of the gong to Congressman Jesse Allen Mangaoang, acting Governor James Edduba and Tabuk City Mayor Ferdinand Tubban.
Next stop will be Apayao with the caravan passing thru the Luna-Pudtol-Kabugao-Cagayan Road. Governor Elias Bulut Jr. and Congressman Eleanor Begtang will be on hand to receive the gong.
From Apayao, the caravan will travel on July 12 to Ifugao province and is expected to be welcomed by Governor Pedro Mayam-o and Congressman Teddy Baguilat.
On July 13, RDC and Ifugao officials will turn over the unity gong to the Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Congressman Mark Go.
The unity gong will be back in Benguet for the Cordillera Day program at the Benguet Sports Complex in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet on July 15.
The advocacy campaign about Asean aims heighten awareness of the country’s membership to the association including the opportunities, the Philippines chairmanship of Asean this year and the thematic priorities.
As chair of Asean 2017 which coincidentally is the 50th year anniversary of the 10 member-state organization, President Rodrigo Duterte wants everyone to be informed, included and participate in Asean 50 with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.” (PIA)