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CPA organization Organization
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organization Membership and Organizational Process
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance is composed of community organizations and sectoral federations in the Cordillera region — mainly indigenous peasants who comprise the bulk of its members, formal wage workers and odd-job workers, youth and students, women, professionals, and church people.

There are also some individual members who abide by the CPA principles and who consistently support CPA programs and activities.

The member federations, organizations, and individuals are bound by the CPA Declaration of Principles and General Program. They are further guided by its Constitution and By-Laws, as well as policies and decisions adapted by its duly constituted bodies.

As an alliance, CPA promotes the principle of consensus in decision-making, after free and full discussions with due respect to independence of each member. CPA also promotes the principle of mutual support, cooperation, and protection in the relations of it members.

CPA continues to expand its members through organizing of indigenous communities and sectors and active networking with other indigenous organizations, institutions and individuals.

The Regional Congress is the highest decision-making body of the CPA. It is composed of representatives of member-organizations, sectors and some individuals.  It meets in an assembly every two years for the evaluation, formulation of the general two-year program and thrust and policies of the Alliance . The Regional Congress elects the members of the Regional Council.

The Regional Council (RC) is the highest decision-making body in between regional congresses. The Regional Council formulates the bi-annual campaign plans of CPA and organizational policies pertaining to the work of the Executive Committee and the Commissions. The RC is composed of representatives of chapters and regional sectoral organizations and alliances, elected by the participants of the regional congress. The RC meets twice a year. At present, the Regional Council has 23 members.

The Executive Committee, elected by the Regional Council, exercises general leadership and makes decisions and practical plans between Regional Council meetings. It is composed of the CPA Chairperson, two Vice-Chairpersons, the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General, the Treasurer, and the Heads of Commissions as ex-officio members. The EC meets at least once in three months and as the need arises. The EC collectively supervises the implementation of the campaign and other plans assigned to the regional secretariat. It also decides on administrative and financial matters. The EC members are directly accountable to the Regional Council. It also works closely with the leadership bodies of the Chapters and sectoral member-organizations.

The EC members are the official spokespersons of CPA at the regional level and represents the Alliance in various activities. There are three members of the EC who are full time in working with the regional secretariat, namely the Chairperson, the Secretary General and the Deputy secretary General.

The current members of the Executive Committee are the following:
Chairperson: Mr. Windel Bolinget
Vice Chairperson for external affairs: Ms. Jill Cariño
Vice Chairperson for internal affairs: Mr. Xavier Akien
Secretary General: Ms. Abigail Anongos
Deputy Secretary General: Mr. Santos Mero
Treasurer: Ms. Elvira Taguba

The  Regional Secretariat serves as the EC’s staff in managing the CPA regional center and  the implementation of its programs on a daily basis at the regional level. Secretariat members staff the various CPA Commissions, which include the Education Commission, the Public Information Commission, the Research Commission, the Solidarity Commission, and an Elders' Desk. There are five full-time staff of the regional secretariat. The regional secretariat also acts as the regional campaign secretariat while at the same time implementing the programs of the different Commissions in close coordination with member-organizations. The regional secretariat also provides support and assistance to the needs of CPA members.

At present, CPA has provincial chapters and affiliate organizations in the provinces of Abra, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province , Apayao and the City of Baguio . Organizing work among Cordillerans in Metro Manila and overseas is being facilitated by CPA Likewise, organizations and alliances covering indigenous communities in other regions adjacent to the Cordillera have affiliated with CPA.

Regional sectoral organizations and alliances that are affiliated with CPA include those based among peasants (APIT TAKO or Alliance of Peasants in the Cordillera Homeland), workers (KMU-Cordillera), youth and students (Anakbayan-Cordillera), women (Innabuyog-Gabriela), elders (Binodngan Pungors Organization and AM-IN), urban poor, and the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK or the regional umbrella of cultural organizations).

Regional organizations of government employees and church people are working towards formal affiliation.

The chapters of CPA and sectoral-member organizations have their own leadership structures and particular programs, while carrying the General Programme of Action of CPA. Their full time staff and or pool of volunteers are mainly engaged in sustained organizing work of indigenous communities and sectors. The Regional Secretariat and the Executive Committee work closely with the leadership bodies and volunteers of CPA chapters and sectoral organizations in the over-all implementation of CPA’s program, activities and campaigns.

Within the Cordillera region, CPA is affiliated with the Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC), which is a network of 11 major non-government organizations (NGOs) with excellent track records in undertaking various socio-economic development programs in  Cordillera communities.

CPA is one of the convenors of the Save the Abra River Movement (STARM) and works closely with member-organizations in the campaign to save the Abra River from further pollution and destruction by Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company.

CPA is also in partnership with DINTEG (Cordillera Indigenous Peoples Legal Center) and the CHRO (Cordillera Human Rights Organization) in coordinating the overall human rights campaign and advocacy work in the region in providing services to victims of human rights violations human rights advocacy-related services. The establishment of DINTEG and CHRO were initiated by CPA in response to the worsening militarization and human rights violations in the region.

Believing that the problems of the Cordillera indigenous peoples are similar to those of other indigenous peoples in the Philippines and worldwide, the CPA actively seeks to establish linkages with other indigenous peoples’ movements and organizations nationwide and overseas. It is ready to work with other organizations and individuals of other political persuasions based on our principles and in the pursuit of common causes and demands.

On this basis, the CPA is an affiliated with the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN, New Patriotic Alliance), a national federation of people’s organizations in the Philippines committed to nationalist and democratic goals. It is also a member of KALIKASAN (People's Environment Network) and is in partnership with IBON Foundation, a research and advocacy institution.

It is also affiliated with the Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP, National Federation of Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines).

CPA is not affiliated with any political party and maintains its independence as a civil-society mass organization.

At the international level, CPA is a member of the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact, and the International Alliance of Indigenous/Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forest (International Alliance). It is also a member and facilitator of the Rivers Watch, East and Southeast Asia (RWESA) and a member of the Mining and Communities Network (MAC). CPA maintains partnership and solidarity relations with numerous international organizations and NGOs that have extended various forms of support and assistance to the program and campaigns of CPA.

Published with financial contribution from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
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