BAGUIO CITY – The City Council passed a resolution requesting President Rodrigo R. Duterte to certify as urgent proposed bills pending in the House of Representatives and the Senate proposing for the establishment of a Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).
The council action was made after the Committee on Laws chaired by Councilor Faustino A. Olowan with members Councilors Edgar M. Avila and Benny O. Bomogao recommended for the approval of the passage of the said resolution after Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wrote the Council to come out with the said resolution supporting the passage of the bill proposing for the establishment of the autonomous region.
Domogan said amidst the pronouncement of President Duterte that the direction of his administration is towards federalism, and considering that the existing Constitution provides for the creation of an autonomous region in the Cordillera which the region has pursued for over 29 years, there is a need for the city to reiterate its stand for the renewed pursuit of regional autonomy.
Earlier, Milagros A. Rimando, vice chairperson of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera and regional director of the Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) wrote local chief executives in the region urging all Cordillera provinces and cities through their respective provincial boards and city councils to signify their support towards autonomy in the form of a resolution requesting the President to certify the Cordillera regional autonomy bill as an urgent and priority agenda of his administration.
“We at the regional level are also working with various sectors to come up with a regional manifesto of support to regional autonomy,” Rimando said.
The request for concerned local governments to pass the necessary resolutions supporting the creation of the Cordillera Autonomous Region and the certification of the autonomy bill as an urgent administration bill was agreed upon by the members of the RDC-CAR Executive Committee during their meeting last July 27, 2016.
The RDC-CAR took the cudgels of spearheading the renewed pursuit of regional autonomy as its overarching agenda in order to fast-track the development of the remote communities of the region after the abolition of the three Cordillera bodies – the Cordillera Executive Board (CEB), the Cordillera Regional Assembly (CRA) and the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBAD) – in charge of the quest for regional autonomy that led to the crafting of the first and second autonomy laws in 1990 and 1998.
Autonomy advocates believe that the creation of an autonomous region in the Cordillera will help fast-track development in the remote villages of the region and contribute to efforts in moving people out from the shackles of poverty because the autonomous regional government will have greater control of its resources and policies with lesser restraint from outside forces.
By Dexter A. See 7