Issue of July 9, 2017
Mt. Province

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Lectures to be included in first concert on autonomy
by Alexa Yadao

The National Economic and Development Authority-Cordillera’s youth concert for autonomy on  July 14 at the Benguet State University is not one ordinary concert.

It will feature not only performances from local bands but also mini lectures in between that will educate the audience on the autonomy movement. 

The concert, which is is open to the public, is a part of the information and education campaign of NEDA-CAR to engage specifically the youth on the discussions surrounding Cordillera autonomy. 

“In the last two years, the need to engage the youth in the autonomy movement has come out. We have been trying to address the need to involve them in the past two years,” Assistant Regional Director Jedidia Aquino said. 

The first youth concert for autonomy will feature local bands that are encouraged to present original songs that talk about the autonomy movement.

Aquino said the 10-minute breaks will be the opportunities to talk about the autonomy movement through a module usually used in forum-type information and education campaigns.

Invited speakers are lawyer Fritz Turqueza from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Vladimir Cayabas, and Dr. Paulina Sawadan, a retired supervisor of the Department of Education. 

The concert also aims to support cultural heritage through songs, said Marissa Cabato, head of the Social Preparation Committee, the group tasked to carry out the IEC. 

NEDA has conducted various fora in the past in partnership with state universities and colleges and various agencies such as the Commission on Human Rights. It produced comics in partnership with the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority and proposed the inclusion of the issue on autonomy in school curriculums.

It also launched and distributed the first of a series of monograph entitled “A victory postponed: Stories on the quest for self-determination in the Cordillera” to various SUCs and  elementary and high schools in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education and DepEd. 

The concert and the recently staged theater production, “Song of Mateo,” last February featuring “Benguet’s hero” Mateo Cariño and which highlighted the region’s quest for autonomy are NEDA’s strategies of experimenting and expanding the medium of their IEC, particularly as a way to engage the youth sector. 

Aquino said they intend to bring the youth concert to other provinces, featuring the provinces’ own local bands. 

Aquino said the same will be done for the theater play, with stories and scripts for the other provinces featuring their own heroes being developed for production, since feedbacks about using the play as a medium were positive.

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