Mayor bares Cordi autonomy timeline, polls

>> Monday, March 6, 2017

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored that the proposed autonomy law must be enacted into law by the first quarter of 2018 to allow the plebiscite for the provinces and cities that will be included in the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera to be done before the end of 2018.
“If we miss this target, it will be very difficult for us to come up with a special election for the establishment of the autonomous government, thus, we will have to wait for the next election which will be on 2022 for us to realize our aspiration of becoming autonomous,” Domogan stressed.
Domogan expressed his appreciation for Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Duerza’s support for the region’s clamor for autonomy, citing that in the draft autonomy law, for the functions of the autonomous regional government, it should include specific functions now being done by the national government such as, but not limited to, the issuance of water rights, hydro power plants, mining and exploration.
Since the next election will be in May 2019, he claimed Cordillera leaders must be able to convince Congress to pass the autonomy law by the end of 2017 and the plebiscite should be done within the first semester of 2018 so that the region will be ready to elect the officials of the autonomous government by the next election.
Earlier, representatives of the Cordillera in Congress committed to filing the new draft of the autonomy bill before they go on recess on March 18, 2017, to start the ball rolling for its enactment into law.
The Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera endorsed to the Cordillera congress representatives the new draft autonomy bill after a thorough review by the technical working group to iron out the issues raised by some lawmakers on the contents of the bill.
He claimed there is still time to enhance the contents of the new draft of the autonomy law to address all the issues and concerns raised by some sectors on some sections but he expressed support to the overall contents of the bill which will be subject to certain changes once submitted to the House committee on local government for further deliberations in the future.
Domogan met with the members of the RDC technical working group to have a last ditch effort to further enhance the contents of the autonomy bill before being formally transmitted to the Cordillera congress representatives for filing in the House of Representatives.
For her part, Milagros Rimando, RDC-CAR vice chairperson and regional director of the Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR), said the existing draft of the autonomy bill is the third version of the draft House bill as the first draft was conditionally approved by the RDC-CAR on November 21, 2016, and was enhanced by the technical working group.

The second draft was presented to the Cordillera congressmen on January 24, 2017, where issues were raised and changes once again were done by the technical working group.


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