QUEZON CITY – Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan confirmed that newly installed House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was elated upon learning that the House committee on local government already calendared for deliberation House Bill (HB) 5343 or the bill that seeks to establish the Autonomous Region in the Cordillera (ARC) on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.
Domogan, who presided over the Advisory Committee meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC) at the Ramon Mitra hall here Monday, paid a courtesy call to the House Speaker and informed her about the latest development on the proposed autonomy bill which is being advocated by Cordillerans for the region to achieve autonomy before the planned shift to federal form of government.
He also tried to pay a courtesy call to Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya to discuss the matter but the latter already went to the Office of the President for the ceremonial signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the Philippine Identification System.
He explained that the Majority Floor Leader is also important in the equation because he the chairman of the House committee on rules that prioritizes the calendar of business of the bills that will be tackled in plenary, thus, the need to inform him about the clamor of Cordillerans for the immediate passage of the proposed autonomy law because of the enabling environment presented by the Duterte administration following its planned shift to federal form of government.
Autonomy advocates have enhanced their advocacy campaign to the national scene having tapped the office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the Cotabato-based the Institute of Autonomy and Governance (IAG), the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO0 among others to drum beat the region’s renewed quest for self-governance.
Domogan and the RDC-CAR, including Cordillera lawmakers, are optimistic on the passage of the proposed autonomy law in the present Congress so that the region will achieve autonomy side by side with the Bangsamoro autonomous region considering the enactment of the BOL which has the same constitutional and legal basis with that of the ARC.
He added the familiarity of House Speaker Arroyo on the prevailing issues and concerns of the Cordillera will definitely be a plus factor in convincing her to include as one of the priority agenda of the House the passage of HB 5343 so that whatever output will be used to lobby with the President the much awaited certification so that its enactment into law will be fastracked similar to what happened to the BOL.
Earlier, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza made a Memorandum to President Duterte for the certification of HB 5343 and Senate Bill 1678 or the proposed autonomy bills pending in both chambers as a priority administration measure so that their approval will be fastracked for the Cordillera to achieve autonomy pursuant to the stand of the RDC-CAR which is autonomy towards federalism.
Cordillerans will troop to the House of Representatives on August 14, 2018 to lobby for the passage of the proposed autonomy bill in the committee level subject to its being calendared for plenary debate. By Dexter A. See