Cordillera Administrative Region– On its 29th year, the Cordillera Month Celebration focuses on empowerment of the poor and marginalized sectors of the region as the observance goes on with the theme “CAR@29: working together for an autonomous and empowered Cordillera.”

Spearheaded by the Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here, this year’s celebration recognizes autonomy as a major step in promoting social development in the Cordillera.

“As the lead agency in social protection, the DSWD has always been an advocate of empowerment of the poor and marginalized. This can be seen through our programs such as the Kalahi-CIDSS Project which uses the community-driven development approach which brings power to the communities.” DSWD-CAR Regional Director Janet P. Armas shared.

The Kalahi-CIDSS or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Project follows a Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC). CEAC is a five-stage community-driven development process wherein people are empowered to identify and prioritize their development needs, design activities, seek technical and financial assistance, manage resources, and implement and sustain development actions. It is through the five stages that communities learn about their development needs and identify solutions in the form of projects in order to enhance their access to quality basic social services.

“We are looking forward that empowerment and development pushes through in the region even after this [Cordillera Month] celebration and we can do this by having a concerted effort to address the needs of the communities in our region”, Director Armas added.

On the other hand, a Provincial Multi-Stakeholders’ Conference will be conducted simultaneous to the Unity Gong Relay Provincial Turnover. The conference aims to provide the public updates and information on government programs and services. An orientation on Cordillera autonomy will also be provided. Tree planting activities are also being conducted in observance of the celebration.

Other activities on the Cordillera Month include the conduct of a press conference or Kapihan to launch the celebration, Cordillera Got Talent to discover the talent of the Cordillera youth, Coffee Pavilion to promote the Cordillera coffee, Shayonney Cordillera Fashion Show to showcase products, creations, and performances of Cordillera designers and performers, and Negosyo, Consumer, Atbp. Activity headed by the Department of Trade and Industry.

The Unity Gong Kick-off Activity takes place on 9 July and signifies the start of the gong relay. The Unity Gong Relay runs from 9 July to 14 July involving all provinces in the region before the 15 July celebration which includes Cordillera Day parade which is followed by the Cordillera Day Program to be held in Baguio Convention Center.

This year’s celebration is being spearheaded by the DSWD as chairperson of the Regional Social Development Committee and the City Government of Baguio. #DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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