SAN ISIDRO, Luna, Apayao—The Philippines’ newest barangay of EKB has been established in one of the most remote villages in this mountainous province.
The creation of EKB as an administrative barangay in the municipality of Kabugao is a tribute to the late Elias K. Bulut Sr., known as the father of Apayao after he initiated the move in Congress to separate the province from Kalinga through Republic Act 7878, which came into effect on Feb. 14, 1995.
Bulut died just over a year ago on Dec. 5, 2015, after a long bout with cancer during his incumbency as mayor of the town of Calanasan.
Barangay EKB was created through Provincial Ordinance No. 03 (series 2017) during a special session of the Eighth Sangguniang Panlalawigan at Sitio Kalliat, Barangay Lenneng, Kabugao town in Upper Apayao.
This ordinance separated several sitios, including Kalliat, from Barangay Lenneng to create Barangay EKB, a move that the provincial government envisions will bring development to the Paco Valley area.
Indigenous tribes, including the Isnag and Kalinga, made homes in this forested area as soon as the newly-concreted Luna-Pudtol-Kabugao via Paco Valley became passable.
This highway cut the usual six-hour trip via Tuguegarao and Conner from the Capitol to just two hours going to Kabugao, Apayao’s old capital town.
Lone District Rep. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, Gov. Elias C. Bulut Jr., Vice Gov. Remy Albano and Kabugao Mayor Joseph Amid led simple rites on Feb. 12 in the area where a barangay hall and other public infrastructures will be created.
That same day, provincial government officials and employees from the five of the seven Apayao towns—Calanasan, Flora, Luna, Pudtol and Sta. Marcela—joined a motorcade from the Provincial Capitol located in Barangay San Isidro in the town of Luna.
The motorcade and the launching ceremonies kicked off the activities for the 22nd Founding Anniversary of Apayao last Feb. 12 to 13.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan said creating Barangay EKB is an “offshoot of the popular clamor, desire and aspirations of the inhabitants, mostly indigenous peoples.”
“It will undoubtedly bring developments to the said locality, benefit the constituents, and enhance the delivery of basic services,” it added.
The barangay officials will be temporarily appointed as provided by law to perform duties and hold office until their successors shall have been qualified after the next barangay elections, the ordinance stated.