BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DIlG-CAR) cited the Cordillera will always be at the losing end of the bureaucracy when national standards are implemented to the fullest because of its small population and land area that deprives the people of substantial development projects and better delivery of basic services.
Engr. Marlo N. Iringan, DILG-CAR regional director, said it is high time that Cordillerans embrace the reality that their local government always got the least allocation from the budget of the national line agencies and share from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) because of its small population and land area.
“We have to continue our efforts towards achieving autonomy because it is the only justifiable and legal means by which the region as a whole could demand from the national government the allocation of more resources for the overall development of the region considering that the Cordillera will be treated as a regular region in terms of the allocation of the government’s resources if it will remain as a special administrative region or opt to become a regular region,” Iringan told stakeholders during the kick off ceremony of the Unity Gong Relay in the city Saturday.
Under the law, the IRA is allocated to local governments using the formula 50 percent for population, 25 percent for land area and 25 percent for equal sharing.
The DILG-CAR official said the whole population of the region is more than 1.7 million and its land area is more than 1.85 million hectares compared to the population of Cavite which is more than 1.6 million and more than triple in terms of land area, thus, Cavite’s IRA is much bigger compared to the IRA of the local governments in the region combined.
Earlier, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera admitted that the region as a whole had been receiving the least budgetary allocation from the different national line agencies over the past several years amidst the persistence of congressmen and local officials to lobby for increased allocation to fund the implementation of more development projects and improve the delivery of services for the people.
Iringan rallied Cordillerans to join the bandwagon established by the RDC-CAR and its partners in order to perk up the support of concerned stakeholders to the region’s renewed quest for regional autonomy even with the federalism being strongly advocated by the Duterte administration.
He encouraged barangay and other local officials regionwide to include autonomy in the crafting of their short, medium and long-term development plans so that the region will give justice to the stalwarts of self-governance who risked their lives in the past just to gain a giant step words achieving autonomy, which was the creation of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) by virtue of Executive Order No. 220 issued by former President Corazon C. Aquino on July 15, 1987.
By Dexter A. See