Senator Imee Marcos rallied Cordillerans to support the region’s renewed quest for autonomy to help in speeding up the growth and development of the various provinces, cities and municipalities similar to what is currently happening in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Marcos, who was the city’s guest of honor and speaker during the grand float parade of the 27th edition of the Panagbenga, stated that there has been a windfall of financial and technical assistance provided by the national government to the BARMM that is currently contributing in the growth and development of that region, thus, the Cordillera must also take advantage of such rare opportunities to be able to achieve the desired goals and objectives of the region for the progress of all.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao were the only regions in the country that were explicitly allowed to establish autonomous regions through the passage of enabling legislations that would be acceptable to the people.
The senator disclosed that she had been receiving positive reports from concerned sectors in the different parts of the region that people are already supportive of the region’s quest for autonomy so that the appurtenant benefits and privileges will also be enjoyed by the Cordillerans.
Senator Marcos claimed that Cordillerans must do their part by ratifying the autonomy law that will be passed by Congress and signed into law by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. so that the long overdue growth and development of the region, especially the remote villages, could be realized in the future.
Autonomy advocates are pinning their hopes on lawmakers from both chambers of Congress who earlier assured their support to the quest for the region for the establishment of the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) to facilitate the immediate passage of the pending bills that will pave the way for the enactment of the enabling law for the said purpose.
Marcos stipulated that the 2 autonomy laws that were earlier passed were overwhelmingly rejected by the Cordillerans for various reasons but for now, there is no reason for the people to again reject the 3rd autonomy law that will be passed by Congress and presented to them for ratification during a plebiscite that will be scheduled for the said purpose.
Last year, all Cordillera congressmen filed House Bill (HB) 3267 that seeks to establish the Cordillera Autonomous Region which has been initially passed upon by the House committees on local government and ways and means and awaiting the further approval from the House committee on appropriations before being submitted to the House committee on rules for the schedule of plenary debates and the period of amendments.
In the 18th Congress, the House of Representatives was able to approve the proposed autonomy law on third and final reading on May 30, 2022 and immediately transmitted the same to the Senate for the supposed passage of the required counterpart measure on May 31, 2022 but the 18th Congress subsequently adjourned in preparation for the assumption into office of the new set of national and local officials who were elected into office during the May 9, 2022 synchronized elections.