Autonomy still best option for Cordillera – Domogan

>> Tuesday, August 7, 2018

LAGAWE, Ifugao  – Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said Cordillera’s quest for autonomy still remains the best option for the region to remain intact vis-à-vis the administration’s planned shift to federal form of government.
Speaking during the culminating program of the 31st founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region at the Don Bosco gymnasium here , Domogan, who chairs the Regional Development Council and Regional Peace and Order Council, said upon review of the draft Federal Charter that was submitted by the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to review the amendment to the 1987 Constitution, contents of House Bill 5343 and Senate Bill 1678 which seek to establish an autonomous region in the Cordillera are more complete compared to the ones incorporated in the draft Charter.
He said the RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR were right in adapting regional autonomy as the region’s overarching theme for growth and development because whatever powers that will not be granted to the autonomous government in the Organic Act can still be granted through the enactment of an Organic Act that will be enacted by the regional assembly.
“We will support the administration’s planned shift to federal form of government but we have to stick with our current clamor for autonomy towards federalism because whatever powers that we cannot get in the enactment of the Organic Act by the present Congress, we can achieve the same when the federal government will be in place in the future,” Domogan said.
He added the proposed autonomy law for the Cordillera and the Bangsamoro Basic Law passed by Congress and awaiting the signature of President Duterte, have similar constitutional basis that is Section 15, Article 10 of the 1987 Constitution that is why the signing into law of the BBL will serve as a positive development for the region’s autonomy law to be enacted so that the region will no longer celebrate the founding anniversary of the CAR but it will be celebrating the anniversary of the establishment of the autonomous region by next year.
According to him, whatever good provisions of the Federal Charter should be adopted in the proposed autonomy law for the Cordillera now pending in both chambers of Congress so that it will address other issues had concerns that have been left out in the proposed Organic Act.
He said under the Federal charter, the BBL will serve as appendix Ordinance 2 while whatever autonomy law that will be passed for the Cordillera will serve as appendix Ordinance No. 3 which guarantees that the autonomous status of the two special regions will be recognized by the federal government that will be established after the ratification of the Federal Charter by the Filipino people in a plebiscite that will be scheduled in the future for such purpose.
He added the shift to federal form of government will take time because both chambers of Congress have adopted different positions in the mode of amending the Constitution and how will the members of Congress conduct the voting unlike in the proposed autonomy law which only needs to be passed by both charters of Congress pursuant to the desire of the Cordillerans as enshrined in the pending autonomy bills. -- Dexter A. See


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