BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the Secretariats of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) to schedule the joint meeting of the regional bodies for the first quarter of the year on February 23, 2018 with the city government serving as the host.
Domogan, who chairs both the RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR, said that it is best to start the year with the joint meeting of the two regional bodies in the city before doing the meetings in the different parts as is the usual practice.
“We have to start the year right by holding our first quarter meeting in the city before we will go around the different parts of the region to address the priority concerns of the concerned local governments. We hope that we can muster a good attendance among our local officials so that we will be able to accomplish the priority issues of the region,” Domogan stressed.
Aside from attending the joint RDC-CAR and RPOC-Car meeting, the local chief executive said the members will also be invited to witness the highlights of the 23rd edition of the Panagbenga which will be the grand streetdancing parade on February 24 and the grand float parade on February 25 with the best performances of the participating streetdancing contingents and the parade of the flower-decorated floats.
The RDC-CAR and the RPOC-CAR usually hold their joint meetings around the region timed with the schedule of major crowd drawing events of the host local governments for the members to witness the highlights of the different festivals of the member local governments.
Domogan reported among the key issues to be discussed is the enhanced strategies to strengthen the lobby among national officials for the passage of the proposed autonomy bill side by side with the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
According to him, the enactment of House Bill (HB) 5343, the bill that seeks to establish an autonomous region in the Cordillera, has become urgent to prevent the matter from being overtaken by the shift to a federal form of government as the House of Representatives is set to pass a resolution to convene both chambers of Congress into a constituent assembly to deliberate the planned shift to federal form of government.
He underscored that under a federal setup, the Cordillera cannot actually exist as an independent federal state because the region’s resources cannot actually sustain its existence and the option available for the region to be united is for it to exist as a special autonomous region within a federal state.
He explained that if the region is included as a regular member of the Northern Luzon Federal State, it will surely be left out in terms of development because its smaller land area and lesser population.
In 2006, the RDC-CAR embraced autonomy as its overarching agenda to fastrack the development in the different parts of the region to catch up with the pace of development in other regions in the country.
By Dexter A. See