BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan emphasized that the realization of the cordillera’s quest for autonomy will result to faster development of the rural areas round the region that will spread out the desired economic growth and prevent people from flocking to urban centers.
The local chief executive pointed out that the establishment of the proposed Autonomous Region in the Cordillera will guarantee more funds for development, faster development of other potential growth reads and the crafting of policies suitable to the prevailing situation in the region so that people will be enticed to remain in the other developed provinces instead of flocking to established urban centers and contribute to the pressing problems caused by rapid urbanization.
“We have to grab the prevailing enabling environment provided by the present administration for us to achieve autonomy because it is only through the establishment of the Autonomous Region in the Cordillera that the region will be blue to advance its state of development because the regional government will be able to craft the necessary policies suitable to the prevailing situation around the region with lesser restraint from outside forces,” Domogan stressed.
While he expressed disappointment over the scrapping of the Cordillera and the Bangsamoro regions in the proposed federal charter being deliberated in the House of Representatives, Domogan claimed that it should also serve as a wake up call for Cordillerans to unite and move for the establishment of the ARC because the quest for autonomy still has the legal basis as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution before it will be too late for Cordillerans to realize the real essence of self-governance.
According to him, it will be the present and future generations of Cordillerans who will be enjoying the fruits of autonomy and hat the role of the elders now is simply to continue working hard for the putting in place of the ARC pursuant to what had been fought for by those who were involved in the armed struggle that compelled the national government to recognize the legitimacy of the clamor for self-rule.
He emphasized the region cannot afford to be divided again as what is being proposed in the draft federal charter pending in the house of representatives that is why concerned sectors in the region must continue drum beating the region’s guest for autonomy to waken the lawmakers in both chambers of Congress to act on the pending autonomy bills for the immediate action of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
House Bill (HB) 5343 authored by all Cordillera congressmen seeks to establish the Autonomous Region in the Cordillera and is now pending deliberations in the House committee on local government while its counterpart bill in the senate, SB 1678 authored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, SB 1923 authored by Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, and SB 193 authored by Senator Pulo Benigno Bam Aquino IV are now pending in the Sante committee on local government awaiting the needed action from the office of the President whether or not it will be a priority under the President’s Legislative agenda or part of the Common Legislative Agenda (CL) of both the executive and legislative branches of government. The Office of the Presidential adviser on the Peace process (OPAPP) and the Presidential legislative Liaison Office (PLLO are also working for the certification of the pending autonomy bills as priority administration measures for their immediate enactment into law like what happened to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
By Dexter A. See