BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored the establishment of the autonomous region in the Cordillera will not mean an added layer of bureaucracy in the current set up of government but instead will mean the downloading of most powers of the national government the regional government will exercise.
Speaking before the joint Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and order Council (RPOC) meeting last Friday, Domogan underscored the creation of the autonomous region in the Cordillera would mean the efficient and effective discharge of most functions of the national government by the regional government as one of the salient provisions of House Bill (HB) 5343 or the law that seeks to put up an autonomous region will be the devolution of most of the functions of the national government to the autonomous regional government.
“It is not true that there will be an added layer of bureaucracy when the autonomous regional government is established because the local government officials and the regional line agencies will be reporting to the regional government and the regional government will be accountable to the office of the President,” Domogan stressed.
He pointed out the fear of autonomy critics that the establishment of an autonomous region will add a layer of bureaucracy is unjustified because most of the functions of the national government, except for foreign relations, currency, national defense, among others, will be devolved to the regional government.
Among the powers being requested by the RDC-CAR to be devolved to the autonomous regional government include the issuance of exploration permits for mining and renewable energy generation, mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs), water rights, certificate of precondition for various environmentally critical projects and ancestral domain.
He emphasized the regional line agencies will co-exist with the autonomous regional government because they have huge allocations from their counterparts in the national government for implementing various programs and projects in the different parts of the region.
According to him, once the functions of the national government will be devolved to the autonomous regional government, it will be easier for the local governments and the regional line agencies to transact business for implementing various programs and projects regionwide because the decision-making will be within the regional government.
He claimed the regional government will be in a better position to develop programs and projects suitable to the existing conditions in the region instead of being tied up to the general policies, programs and projects of the national government.
He called on various sectors to understand the pertinent provisions of HB 5343 to see for themselves that the proposed autonomy law will be beneficial to the people of the region, thus, they should support its passage in Congress. By Dexter A. See