House approves bill creating Cordi Autonomous Region

>> Sunday, June 12, 2022

By Gaby B. Keith

BAGUIO CITY --The House of Representatives approved on its third and final reading a bill that seeks to create the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).
    House Bill (HB) 5687, also known as the "Cordillera Autonomous Region bill," proposes to create a politically autonomous Cordillera that reflects the hopes and aspirations of Cordillerans, as well as changes in the political, economic and technological landscape in the region.
    Once passed into law, the CAR will exercise meaningful self-governance where Cordillerans will be "free to pursue their political, economic, social and cultural development within the framework of national sovereignty and in accordance with the Constitution."
    The Cordillera region will remain an "integral and inseparable part" of the country's territory, while transferring regional government powers to local government units, particularly in areas of education, health, human resources, science and technology, and people empowerment. The bill also proposes an equitable and proportionate share in the country's annual national budget, as well as foreign-assisted projects.
    Baguio Rep. Mark Go, one of the bill's principal authors, called the bill "a measure that's been more than three decades in the making."
    "The bill's drafting involved the collaboration of different representatives of the Cordillera provinces in efforts to come up with a measure that represents the true aspirations of Cordillerans," Go said.
    Go said the time is ripe for the Cordillera region to fulfill its goal of political autonomy, adding that the political, economic and technological landscapes in the Cordilleras have since advanced.
    "Since 1987, the Cordillera region has been placed under a transitory system of administration in preparation for a politically autonomous Cordillera, and that the current administrative region was not meant to serve our region in perpetuity," he added.
    The bill is set to be transmitted to the Senate.


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