BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is doing better and is among the fastest-growing economies in the country at the rate of 8.7 percent, a top official here said Friday.
“Our state now in the Cordillera is a result of our concentrated effort from all stakeholders – national line agencies and private sectors alike. Our economy is growing fast at 8.7 percent as presented by the Philippine Statistics Authority, and we need to sustain it,” Apayao Governor and Cordillera Regional Development Council chair Elias Bulut Jr. said in an interview.
However, the region must not be contented with the status it is currently in.
“We have to strategize because we have the resources to tap to further develop our provinces, our people, and our region,” he said during his State of the Region Address (SORA), a day after the 37th anniversary of the Mt. Data Sipat agreement that led to the creation of the CAR.
His SORA spelled out a seven-point agenda for progress aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
In his province, Bulut said they produce thousands of skilled graduates, but there are no industries to work for and government jobs are limited.
Apayao was split from Kalinga became an independent province on Feb. 14, 1995.
Considered the last forest frontier in the region, Apayao continues to maintain its natural habitat which it hopes to use to benefit from its forests and natural resources, Bulut said.
He said the Marag Valley used to be among the areas considered a haven for rebel groups but has now become the most peaceful in the region.
“Peace and order (situation) a big deal not just in our province but in different areas of the Cordillera. Now, we can claim that we are one of the most peaceful regions in terms of resolved insurgency issues,” he said.
With funding poured into the region, he said the province now relies on its own road network to connect faster to other parts of the region. (PNA)