Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang is counting on the role of the media to lead in educating the constituents of the Cordillera on the region’s quest for autonomy so they can decide rationally once the approved law will be submitted to them for ratification during a plebiscite that will be scheduled for the said purpose.
In his message during the induction of the new set of officers of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC) held at the Camp John Hay (CJH) clubhouse last Saturday, Mangaoang pointed out that truthful information is important for people to make choices regarding their participation in every undertaking and it helps them decide rationally and take a course of action beneficial to them.
The Kalinga lawmaker disclosed that House Bill (HB) 3267 authored by all Cordillera Congress representatives that seeks to establish the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) is now pending in the House committee on appropriations, especially with regards the financial viability of the autonomous region, that is why Cordillera lawmakers are constantly following up the updates on this.
Earlier, the House committee on local government and the House committee on ways and means already approved the proposed Cordillera autonomy law following the representation made by these Cordillera representatives that this had been deliberated during the previous Congress and approved in the third and final reading that paved the way for it to be refiled in the present Congress.
Mangaoang claimed that aside from following up the status of the autonomy bill in the concerned House committee, the Cordillera provinces are currently conducting a signature campaign to get as much support from the grassroots for the establishment of the CAR to convince President Ferdinand R. Marcos, jr. to certify the said bills as a priority administration measure for it to be passed in both chambers of Congress the soonest.
In the case of Kalinga, he stipulated that the signature campaign in support of autonomy is gaining ground and he expressed hope that the other provinces are doing their part in the signature campaign as part of the strategy to ensure awareness among Cordilleras on the quest for autonomy so that they will vote in favor of the creation of the autonomous region once the law will be submitted to them for ratification.
In 2006, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera embraced autonomy as its over arching development agenda that will eventually spur growth and development in the different parts of the region to be able to catch up with the pace of development of other regions in the country.
Since then, the RDC-CAR spearheaded the various efforts on capability building, information and education campaign, project evaluation and monitoring focused on ensuring the awareness of Cordillerans on the importance of achieving autonomy that will pave the way for the realization of growth and development in the rural communities in the region.
Last May 30, 2022, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill 10729 or the consolidated autonomy bill that seeks to establish the CAR where the same was immediately transmitted to the Senate on May 31, 2022 for the passage of its counterpart measure.